Stock market today: World shares are mixed ahead of the Fed's decision on interest rates

BANGKOK — World shares were mixed Wednesday ahead a decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve on interest rates.

European markets opened higher after a mixed session in Asia. U.S. futures edged higher while oil prices slipped.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 climbed to its highest level since early 2022, slightly below its record high, after a report showed inflation in the United States is behaving pretty much as expected. That has reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve will stand pat on interest rates when it announces its next move Wednesday afternoon.

Germany’s DAX gained 0.2% to 16,830.22 and the CAC 40 in Paris was up 0.4% to 7,576.08. Britain’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.4% to 7,569.22.

The futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.1% higher.

In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.3% to 32,926.35 after the Bank of Japan’s quarterly “tankan” report, released Wednesday, showed business sentiment among major manufacturers improved for a third straight quarter.

The survey measures corporate sentiment by subtracting the number of companies saying business conditions are negative from those replying they are positive. The latest reading was plus 12, up from plus 9 in October and plus 5 in June.

“The continued improvement in the ‘tankan’ suggests that the drop in Q3 GDP was just a blip, but we still expect GDP growth to slow sharply next year,” Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said in a commentary.

Shares in China declined on what analysts said was disappointment over a lack of major stimulus measures from a major economic planning conference that ended on Tuesday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.9% to 16,228.75 and the Shanghai Composite index was down 1.2% at 2,968.76. South Korea’s Kospi lost 1% to 2,510.66.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia was up 0.3% at 7,257.80. Taiwan’s Taiex edged 0.1% higher and Bangkok’s SET lost 1.3%.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 climbed 0.5% to just below its all-time high set in early 2022 following a report showing inflation in the United States is behaving pretty much as expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.5% and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.7%.

The inflation report showed U.S. consumers paid prices for gasoline, food and other living costs last month that were 3.1% higher overall than a year earlier, slightly below October’s 3.2% inflation and exactly in line with economists’ expectations.

The Fed has already yanked its main interest rate from virtually zero early last year to more than 5.25%, its highest level since 2001. It’s hoping to slow the economy and hurt investment prices by exactly the right amount: enough to stamp out high inflation but not so much that it causes a steep recession.

In other trading Wednesday, a barrel of benchmark U.S. crude gave up 11 cents to $68.50 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Tuesday, it lost $2.71 to settle at $68.61.

It had been above $93 in September but has been falling amid worries that global demand may fall short of available supplies.

Brent crude, the international standard, slipped 10 cents to $73.14 per barrel. It fell $2.79 on Tuesday to $73.24 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar rose to 145.83 Japanese yen from 145.45 yen. The euro slipped to $1.0785 from $1.0793.

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