An investor walks in front of stock trading boards at a private market gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, July 9, 2019. Asian shares mostly fell Tuesday in quiet trading as investors waited for signs on what might be ahead for U.S. interest rates. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Global shares mostly retreat ahead of Fed statement

July 09, 2019 - 7:36 am

TOKYO (AP) — Global stock markets were mostly lower Tuesday as investors looked for signs of how far the U.S. Federal Reserve might cut interest rates after upbeat economic data in recent days.

Shares on Wall Street are poised to open lower again amid growing speculation that an unexpectedly strong pickup in U.S. employment growth last month may lead the Fed to hold back on aggressively cutting its benchmark interest rate. Many investors still expect a cut of a quarter percentage point, but fewer are now expecting a half-point reduction.

The market rallied through much of June after the Fed signaled that it's prepared to cut interest rates to offset slowing global growth and the fallout from U.S. trade conflicts. Since last week's record-breaking rally, Wall Street has closed lower in two straight sessions since the U.S. jobs numbers were released.

Investors will be listening closely for any hints on the central bank's interest rate policy on Wednesday and Thursday, when Fed Chair Jerome Powell delivers the Fed's semi-annual monetary report to Congress.

Dow futures dipped 0.4% to 26,695 on Tuesday, while S&P 500 futures also lost 0.4% to 2,967.

In Europe, France's CAC 40 lost 0.3% to 5,571 while Germany's DAX slipped 0.9% to 12,433. Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 7,548.

Sentiment in Europe was dented after German industrial chemicals giant BASF warned its earnings would be lower due to a slowdown in auto production, weakness in the North American agricultural sector as well as trade conflicts.

In Asian trading, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 inched up 0.1% to finish at 21,565.15, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.1% to 6,665.70. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.6% to 2,052.03. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.8% to 28,116.28, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.2% to 2,928.23.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil gained 30 cents to $57.96 a barrel. It rose 15 cents to $57.66 a barrel Monday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, climbed 33 cents to $64.44 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 108.82 Japanese yen from 108.40 yen Monday. The euro weakened to $1.1203 from $1.1230.

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Matt Ott in Washington contributed to this report.

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