WORLDWIDE – World shares had a shaky start after the Federal Reserve announced there would be no changes in interest rates. Stocks in Europe are up as investors wait for the results of UK’s general elections while Asian shares are a little jumbled.
Wall Street had an uncertain start after the Federal Reserve revealed interest rates would remain unchanged until 2020. But it quickly shook off the uncertainty as the Dow Jones recovered and rose by 0.1% to 27,911.30. The Nasdaq also saw an increase of 0.4% to 8,654.05 while S&P 500 futures inched up by 0.1% to 3,147.
The Reserve’s decision to leave interest rates alone was not surprising. It had already cut rates three times previously in an attempt to protect the economy from the fallout of its trade conflicts and a sluggish global growth.
Shares in Asia were mixed as investors continued to sit on the fence and wait for the outcome of several major events.
The Nikkei 225 went up by 0.14% or 32.95 points to end the day at 23,424.81. It was down 18.33 points on Wednesday. The Topix was also down by 0.12% or 2.12 points to close at 1,712.83.
Meanwhile, the KOSPI and the Hang Seng index enjoyed gains today. The former saw a jump of 1.5% while the latter went up by 1.2%. However, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.2% to stand at 2,920.13. The S&P/ASX 200 of Australia dropped 0.7%. And while shares in Taiwan inched up, the rest of Southeast Asia were mixed.
Investors are understandably wary as the deadline for a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods is drawing closer. Traders are reluctant to move positions and are waiting to see how things will play out between the US and China. They’re also keeping a close watch on the UK’s general elections.
Despite the uncertainty of the elections and the impending meeting by the European Central Bank (ECB), European shares ticked upwards on Thursday.
The FTSE 100 went up by 0.2% as it brushed off the consequence of a stronger sterling. The Pan-European STOXX 600 inched up by 0.1% as well.
A lot of attention will be focused on Britain’s Conservative Party though. The ruling party is expected to win, giving them a chance to pass a withdrawal agreement and end more than three years of Brexit uncertainty. However, their diminished lead has raised concerns.
Investors are also concentrating on ECB head Christine Lagarde and her remarks regarding the future of policy reviews and stimulus even as the current regulations are expected to remain as it is.