LONDON: Stocks drifted lower on Monday as investors waited on key global interest rate decisions.
On Wall Street, the Dow was down 0.2 percent late morning trading, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were also lower.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index ended the day off 0.01 percent, while Frankfurt shed 0.5 percent and Paris pared 0.4 percent.
“It has been a lacklustre session today as traders are waiting for central bank updates later this week,” said CMC Markets UK analyst David Madden.
“The Bank of Japan, Federal Reserve and Bank of England will update the market, and it seems dealers are waiting on the sidelines until then,” he added.
The Bank of Japan will reveal the outcome of its latest monetary policy meeting on Tuesday, followed by the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday and then the Bank of England on Thursday.
Asian markets dropped Monday, following Wall Street’s downbeat finish last week on fears that US economic growth has peaked, and with investors cautious ahead of central bank news.
“Monday’s barren economic calendar (has been) allowing the markets to stew ahead of the week’s trio of central bank get-togethers,” noted Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.
Last week, the European Central Bank was unperturbed by global trade tensions Thursday, leaving unchanged its plans to exit massive eurozone stimulus by December.
There has been widespread speculation about whether Japan’s central bank may be looking to alter its ultra-loose monetary policy.
Meanwhile, investors are keen to see quarterly results from Apple coming late Tuesday following mixed earnings thus far from tech giants.
Some investors fear a deeper selloff in the high-flying technology sector following disappointing results from Facebook, Netflix and some other companies. Strength in tech stocks has also been an underlying support to the broader stock market.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was down nearly 1.1 percent approaching midday, after having fallen 1.5 percent on Friday.
“Friday’s takedown of the information technology sector, and the lack of a spirited response to Amazon.com’s blowout earnings report, have also created a little hesitation within the trading/investing republic,” said analyst Patrick O’Hare at Briefing.com
“The question is, will there be a rotation within the stock market to other sectors or will a potential loss of leadership from the information technology sector trigger a corrective move driven by broad selling interest,” he added.
Shares in Apple were down 0.65 percent.
On the oil market, crude prices climbed as investors worried about supplies.
– Key figures around 1530 GMT –
New York – Dow Jones: DOWN 0.2 percent to 25,406.35 points
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.01 percent at 7,700.85 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.5 percent at 12,798.20 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.4 percent at 5,491.22 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,514.54
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.74 percent at 22,544.84 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.37 percent at 28,697.45
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.16 percent at 2,869.05 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1715 from $1.1657 at 2100 GMT
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3146 from $1.3105
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 110.98 yen from 111.05
Oil – Brent Crude: UP 63 cents at $74.92 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP $1.29 at $69.98