Global stock markets mixed ahead of Trump’s Fed decision

October 30, 2017

People look at an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. Asian stock markets were mixed Monday as investors waited to find out U.S. President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Federal Reserve.(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets were mixed Monday as investors waited to learn U.S. President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Federal Reserve.

KEEPING SCORE: London’s FTSE 100 lost 0.3 percent to 7,488 while France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.1 percent to 5,497 and Germany’s DAX gained 0.2 percent to 13,2428. Spain Ibex 35 jumped 2 percent on a poll showing that support for independence in the region of Catalonia has fallen.

On Wall Street, futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 0.2 percent.

FED WATCH: Investors expect Trump to announce his choice for Fed chair as early as Monday. News reports Friday suggested Trump most likely would not offer Janet Yellen a second term and was instead leaning toward Jay Powell, a Fed board member who until recently was the only Republican on the board. Analysts see Powell as a safe choice who would follow Yellen’s monetary strategy.

ANALYST’S TAKE: “President Trump should announce who the new Fed Chair will be after keeping us on tenterhooks for the last few months. The market favorite is continuity candidate Jerome Powell (though with President Trump, you never know until the ink on the contract has dried),” said Rob Carnell of ING in a report. “This may make for an interesting (awkward) FOMC meeting on 1 November, though besides teeing the market up for a December rate hike, no one is expecting much from this.”

US DATA: Stocks were supported by data showing consumers spending grew 1 percent in September, the biggest monthly gain in eight years. The surge was led by strong sales of autos and other durable goods. The jump was up from a tiny 0.1 percent gain in August and was the best showing since an increase of 1.3 percent in August 2009.

ASIA’S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8 percent to 3,390.34 while Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 added 3 points to 22,011.67. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.4 percent to 28,336.17 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.3 percent to 5,919.10. Seoul’s Kospi advanced 0.3 percent to 2,501.93 and India’s Sensex added 0.5 percent to 33,314.86. Benchmarks in New Zealand, Taiwan and Jakarta gained while Singapore retreated.

ASIA’S WEEK: Investors are looking ahead to a week of potentially market-moving Asian data. China and other countries are due to report monthly manufacturing indexes, along with Korean trade, factory production and inflation. Tokyo will report its economic indicators for September, while the Bank of Japan is due to announce interest rate policy on Tuesday.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 18 cents to $54.08 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped $1.26 on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 26 cents to $60.70 in London. It rose $1.09 the previous session.

CURRENCY: The dollar edged down to 113.52 yen from Friday’s 113.68 yen. The euro rose to $1.1612 from $1.1609.

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