Global markets edge up ahead of Trump speech, Fed meeting

Published September 18, 2017
Associated Press

Global stock markets edged up on Monday as investors looked ahead to a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting and U.S. President Donald Trump's speech at the United Nations.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX rose 0.3 percent to 12,549 and France's CAC 40 gained 0. 2 percent to 5,226. London's FTSE 100 added 0.4 percent to 7,246. On Wall Street, the futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and for the Standard & Poor's 500 were up 0.2 percent.

FED WATCH: Investors are looking ahead to this week's Fed policy meeting for indications on the timing of the next rate hike and when the Fed might start shrinking its multitrillion-dollar stockpile of bonds. Forecasters expect the Fed to leave rates unchanged and stick to plans to raise rates in December. Investors also are looking for indications of when and how central bankers will start selling off bonds bought to shore up economic growth after the 2008 crisis.

NORTH KOREA: Markets are also watching Trump's U.N. speech on Tuesday for any mention of military options on North Korea following its latest missile launch. The Security Council criticized Friday's launch over Japan as "highly provocative." Washington's ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said Sunday that North Korea will be destroyed if it continues with reckless behavior.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "On the political front, no prizes for guessing that North Korea will top the agenda of President Trump's address to the gathering of world leaders at the U.N.," Rob Carnell of ING said in a report. "The political heat will also rise in Germany and New Zealand ahead of weekend elections. There could also be some more political action in Japan before long, as the media is suggesting that (Prime Minister Shinzo) Abe may call a snap election next month amid his rising approval rating and fragile opposition."

CENTRAL BANK WATCH: In Europe, investors are monitoring a speech by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney for confirmation that the bank expects to raise interest rates in coming months for the first time in a decade. Central banks are also due to hold policy meetings in Japan, Taiwan, Philippines and Indonesia. The Reserve Bank of Australia is due to release minutes of its meeting earlier this month. All are expected to leave policy unchanged but forecasters expect Australian policymakers to strike a more hawkish tone following stronger recent economic activity.

ASIA'S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 3,362.86 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.3 percent to 28,159.77. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. Seoul's Kospi advanced 1.3 percent to 2,418.21 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 added 0.4 percent to 5,720.60. India's Sensex gained 0.6 percent to 32,472.62. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore and Bangkok rose while New Zealand and Taiwan declined.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 111.39 yen from Friday's 110.82 yen. The euro was up at $1.1945 from $1.1928. The pound, which had surged last week when the Bank of England hinted a rate increase was coming, was at $1.3544, from $1.3592.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 36 cents to $49.53 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It closed Friday unchanged at $49.89. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped 37 cents to $55.25 in London. It added 15 cents on Friday.