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Global shares mixed in muted trading ahead of US Fed meeting

/ 06:44 PM March 19, 2019
 Global shares mixed in muted trading ahead of US Fed meeting

An investor plays a mobile chess game while watching stock prices at a brokerage in Beijing, China, Tuesday, March 19, 2019. Asian shares were mixed in muted trading Tuesday as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later in the week. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

TOKYO – Shares rose in Europe on Tuesday after a day of mixed but muted trading in Asia. Investors are awaiting a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later in the week.

France’s CAC 40 edged 0.1 percent higher to 5,415.47, while Germany’s DAX climbed 0.2 percent to 11,681.07.

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Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent to 7,324.22.

U.S. shares were set for gains with Dow futures up 0.3 percent at 26,032.00. S&P 500 futures added 0.2 percent to 2,847.10.

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British politics were stymied by uncertainty as the government mulled what to do about a parliamentary rejection of a vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for splitting with the European Union.

On Thursday, EU leaders will meet and discuss if they will grant an extension of the March 29 deadline for the UK to leave the bloc.

Investors also are watching for the outcome of the Fed’s meeting, expecting it might slow its pace of interest rate increases. The worry in December was that the central bank would raise rates too fast, choking off growth as the global economy slowed. The Fed will meet to discuss interest-rate policy later week, with an announcement scheduled for Wednesday.

Economists expect the Fed to announce no change to rates, but it might release documents that would suggest one rate increase in 2019, or possibly zero, after the Fed raised rates four times in 2018 and three times in 2017.

In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost nearly 0.1 percent to 21,566.85.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.1 percent lower to 6,184.80 and South Korea’s Kospi inched down less than 0.1 percent to 2,177.62.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.2 percent to 29,466.28, while the Shanghai Composite dipped 0.2 percent to 3,090.98.

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Shares rose in India. Taiwan’s benchmark was unchanged and those in Southeast Asia were mixed.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 16 cents to $59.25 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 1 percent on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 25 cents to $67.79 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.28 yen from 111.56 yen Monday. The euro strengthened to $1.1356 from $1.1338. /gsg

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