Oct 29, 2014 4:58 AM

World stocks gain as focus shifts to Fed meeting

The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) Global stock markets swung higher Wednesday, buoyed by solid U.S. corporate earnings and as investors waited for signs from the Federal Reserve on U.S. monetary policy.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX rose 0.7 percent to 9,132.22 and the CAC-40 in Paris inched up 0.3 percent to 4,123.29. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.7 percent to 6,449.02. It was unclear whether Wall Street was headed for another day of gains. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were little changed while the Standard & Poor's 500 futures were down 0.1 percent. On Wednesday, the S&P rose 1.2 percent and the Dow 1.1 percent.

FED WATCHING: Global investors are looking ahead to Wednesday's announcement from the Fed's policymaking committee for insight into when the central bank might start raising interest rates. The Fed is winding down its $4 trillion bond-buying program, or quantitative easing. There are worries whether the U.S. economy is strong enough to keep growing without that.

THE QUOTE: Chang Wei Liang, an analyst at Mizuho Bank in Singapore, said global stock prices have been supported by the expectation that the Fed won't shift policy, "with the market anticipating no change in the forward guidance with continued emphasis on monetary accommodation."

ASIA'S DAY: In Asia, industrial output figures showed Japan's recovery remains on track, adding to market optimism. Tokyo's Nikkei, the benchmark for the region's biggest bourse, jumped 1.5 percent to 15,553.91. Japanese telecom Softbank Corp., which announced a large investment in Indian technology companies, rose 1.2 percent. South Korea's Kospi gained 1.8 percent to 1,961.17. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.3 percent to 23,819.87 while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.1 percent to 5,447.70.

UPBEAT EARNINGS: Earnings season around the world has lifted trading sentiment so far. In the U.S., healthy reports from Caterpillar and Whirlpool were behind the rise on Wall Street overnight. The picture is more mixed in Asia and Europe. Honda, which reported a rise in quarterly profit but lowered its annual forecast, finished down 0.1 percent in Tokyo. In Europe, shares in French drugmaker Sanofi fell 3.7 percent after it ousted its CEO amid poor earnings. Deutsche Bank stock also edged lower after reporting a net loss.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 78 cents at $82.20 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

CURRENCIES: The dollar was little changed from Tuesday's 108.11 yen, as was the euro, which hovered around $1.2735.


Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama


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