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Stock market today: Global shares mixed ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate decision

In this Jan. 3, 2020, file photo visitors to the New York Stock Exchange pause to take photos in New York. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Jan. 8. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File) In this Jan. 3, 2020, file photo visitors to the New York Stock Exchange pause to take photos in New York. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Jan. 8. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Global shares were mixed in cautious trading Tuesday ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's upcoming decision on interest rates.

France's CAC 40 added 0.2% to 7,292.91 in early trading. Germany's DAX fell nearly 0.1% to 15,716.61. Britain's FTSE 100 was little changed, rising less than 0.1% to 7,659.91. The futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500were up less than 0.1%.

The Fed is due to wrap up a two-day meeting on Wednesday. Japan's central bank will meet Thursday-Friday amid speculation it might gradually begin to adjust its longstanding negative interest rate policy.

Stocks have been see-sawing since early August on uncertainty about whether the Fed will finally end its hikes to interest rates. Higher rates have helped cool inflation from its peak last summer, but they also hurt prices for stocks and other investments while slowing the economy.

Traders almost universally expect the Fed to keep rates steady at its meeting this week. Attention will mainly focus on forecasts Fed officials will publish about where they expect interest rates, the economy and the job market to head in upcoming years.

Traders are betting on a roughly 40% chance the Fed will raise rates again in either November or December, according to data from CME Group.

But just as much attention will be on what Fed officials say about next year, when investors expect the Fed to begin cutting interest rates. Investors crave such cuts, which typically loosen up financial conditions and give boosts to financial markets. The big question is by how much the Fed could cut.

Fears are strong that rates may have to stay higher for longer to get inflation down to the Fed's 2% target. That quest has been complicated by a recent spike in oil prices.

In Asian trading, Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.9% to finish at 33,242.59. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5% to 7,196.60. South Korea's Kospi edged down 0.6% to 2,559.21. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose nearly 0.4% to 17,997.17, while the Shanghai Composite inched down less than 0.1% to 3,124.96.

Worries about a possible recession persist though they have diminished as reports have shown the economy and job market remain resilient.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude added US$1.37 to US$92.85 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 71 cents to US$91.48 Monday. That's up from less than US$70 in July. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 85 cents to US$95.28 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose to 147.70 Japanese yen from 147.58 yen. The euro cost US$1.0687, down from US$1.0691.



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