Overseas Trading: Global Stocks Cautious Ahead of Fed

China's Shanghai Composite rose for a fourth straight session on upbeat comments from Premier Li Keqiang

by Karee Venema

Published on Mar 16, 2016 at 8:39 AM

It was a mixed finish in Asia today, as traders took a cautious stance ahead of today's highly anticipated policy announcement from the U.S. Federal Reserve. In Japan, the Nikkei closed 0.8% lower -- despite Bank of Japan (BoJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speculating that the central bank could theoretically drop its key interest rate to negative 0.5% -- amid a decline in exporters. Hong Kong's Hang Seng, meanwhile, fell 0.2%. Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi tacked on 0.3%, while China's Shanghai Composite added 0.2% after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said it would be "impossible" for the country to not meet its economic growth targets.

European markets are trading on both sides of breakeven ahead of the Fed, as speculators keep a close eye on rising crude futures. At last check, the German DAX is up 0.5%, while London's FTSE 100 is 0.2% higher as traders digest Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne's just-released annual budget proposal. The French CAC 40, meanwhile, is off 0.1%.

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