World Economy

World Markets Steady

World Markets SteadyWorld Markets Steady

Global shares were steady Wednesday as investors awaited the release of minutes from a March meeting of the US Federal Open Market Committee to obtain clues about the chances of interest rate hikes in coming months.

Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6% to 6,128.57 and Germany’s DAX shed 0.2% to 9,549.10. France’s CAC 40 rose 0.3% to 4,260.86. US futures augured small gains on the open for Wall Street, with Dow futures up 0.1% and S&P futures up 0.2%.

Shares traded in New York in Dublin-based drugmaker Allergan Plc had fallen 15% on reports Tuesday that its $160 billion merger deal with Pfizer Inc. would be called off. Pfizer’s had risen 2.1%.

Earlier, Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.1% lower at 15,715.36. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.2% at 20, 206.67, while China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.1% to 3,050.59. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 gained 0.4% to 4,945.90. South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.4% to 1,971.32, while Taiwan’s benchmark TAIEX index fell 1.7% to 8,513.30. Southeast Asian markets were mixed.

The Caixin services purchasing managers’ index for March rose to 52.2 from February’s 51.2. Despite the slight boost, services companies took a cautious approach to staff numbers, with the first fall in services sector employment since August 2013, said Caixin, a media group providing financial and business news.

Meanwhile, benchmark US crude was up $1.02 at $36.91 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, rose 93 cents to $38.80 per barrel.

The US dollar inched up to 110.41 yen from 110.31 yen the previous trading day. The euro fell to $1.14 from $1.41.