NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are stuck in a holding pattern in early trading as Wall Street waits for a much-anticipated keynote on interest rates due later this week. The S&P 500 was little changed early Wednesday. The Dow was down slightly and the Nasdaq slightly up. This is shaping up to be a second straight day of modest moves for the market, but they follow strong up and down swings over the previous weeks. Stocks soared throughout the summer on hopes that inflation was near its peak and that the Federal Reserve might end up raising interest rates less aggressively than expected.
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TOKYO (AP) — Global stocks were mixed on Wednesday as a wait-and-see mood set in after another — albeit more modest — day of selling on Wall Street.
Inflation concerns weigh on the minds of investors, including in Asia. Inflation data for Singapore released earlier in the week showed that inflation was still strong, with core inflation rising to 4.8% year-on-year in July. Food price inflation stood at 6.1%.
Benchmarks ended down in Japan and China, while they were up in Australia and South Korea. European stocks fell in early trading.
The French CAC 40 lost 0.3% at the start of the session to 6,345.04. The German DAX fell 0.3% to 13,150.83. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.5% to 7,451.34. US stocks are expected to fall with Dow futures down less than 0.1% at 32,891.00 and S&P 500 futures down 0.1% at 4,126.25.
In the United States, a report on new homes also sparked pessimism about a possibly impending recession. A slowdown in the US economy would be devastating for export-dependent Asia.
The next big event circled on the calendar is a Friday speech by Jerome Powell, chairman of the US Federal Reserve. He will speak at an annual symposium hosted by the Fed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which has been the scene of major market speeches in the past.
“As we approach Jackson Hole, economic risks appear to be revealing themselves in various forms, ranging from disappointing housing data to the manufacturing survey,” said Tan Boon Heng of Mizuho Bank in Singapore.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.5% to end at 28,313.47. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.5% to 6,998.10. The South Korean Kospi rose 0.5% to 2,447.45. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.2% to 19,268.74, while the Shanghai Composite lost 1.9% to 3,215.20.
Volatility is back on Wall Street after what had been a strong summer as concerns grow over how aggressively the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates to bring down high inflation. Recent comments from some Fed officials have dampened hopes that the Fed could end up being less aggressive than expected.
A report showed new home sales slowed more than economists expected last month. The housing sector has been one of the hardest hit by the rise in interest rates this year. As the Fed raised its overnight rate, mortgage rates also climbed and cooled the industry.
Such weak data on the US economy raises fears that a recession is indeed happening, but it could also encourage the Fed to ease rate hikes. Worries about a slowing economy are spreading across the world and the value of a the euro fell below $1 amid concerns about Europe in particular.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose 74 cents to $94.48 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added 76 cents to $100.98 a barrel.
In currency trading, the US dollar fell slightly to 136.50 Japanese yen from 136.72 yen. The euro cost was little changed at 99 cents.
AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise and Stan Choe contributed.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama
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