Global shares mixed as investors watch Facebook, Fed

Global shares mixed as investors watch Facebook, Fed

MSCI's main 47-country world stock index fell 1.1 percent in afternoon trading after European stocks dipped and benchmark United States indexes declined.

Shares in European chipmakers faced pressure, while Germany's SAP (SAPG.DE) declined 0.5 percent, hit by a knock-on effect from USA business software peer Oracle, whose quarterly revenue missed analysts' estimates.

The British pound was off Monday's one-month peak after United Kingdom inflation slowed more than forecast in February, the first of several sets of data in a week when the Bank of England is expected to signal interest rates will rise as early as May.

While long-term US bond yields were muted, short-dated yields rose ahead of an expected rate hike from the US Federal Reserve after its two-day policy meeting starting on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained $1.50, or 2.3 percent, to $67.55 per barrel in London.

MSCI's all-country equity index flatlined MIWD00000PUS , and is now 6 percent off record highs hit at the end of January, pressured by fears of a global trade war ignited by U.S. President Donald Trump and the possibility that the Fed could end up raising interest rates more than three times this year.

Investor focus will today turn to Jerome Powell's first Federal Open Market Committee meeting as chairman, with close scrutiny of whether monetary policy might become more hawkish under his tenure.

The two-year yield jumped to a near 9-1/2-year high of 2.3324 percent on Tuesday.

Among energy companies, Chevron gained $1.31, or 1.2 percent, to $115.20 and Halliburton added 84 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $45.64.

Instead it was the euro that stole the spotlight after Reuters reported that European Central Bank officials were shifting their debate from bond purchases to the expected path of interest rates.

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The British pound advanced 0.2 percent to $1.4024, the strongest in more than a month.

Facebook shares slumped 3.7 percent in premarket trading after reports that 50 million of its users' data had been misused by a political consultancy firm ahead of the 2016 US election and Brexit vote. It fell nearly 7 percent Monday, its worst loss in four years, is at its lowest price since late September. Legislators in the US and Europe criticized Facebook, and investors are wondering if companies like Facebook and Alphabet will face tighter regulation.

Facebook stock lost $8.38, or 4.9 percent, to $164.18. The Canadian dollar CAD=D4 held at $1.3029 after hitting $1.3124 on Monday, a low not seen since mid-2017.

REBOUNDING: Amazon recovered $25.70, or 1.7 percent, to $1,570.63 after it dropped Monday. While the company announced a bigger profit than analysts expected, they were less impressed once items like lower tax rates and stock repurchases were excluded, and its sales were lower than Wall Street had forecast.

Shares in European chipmakers in particular came under pressure, with ams, STMicroelectronics and ASML all in negative territory, while Germany's SAP declined 0.5 per cent, hit by readacross from U.S. business software peer Oracle Corp, whose quarterly revenue missed analysts' estimates.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 106.47 yen from 106.53 yen. The euro fell to $1.2285 from $1.2357. South Korea's Naver Corp., parent of Line messenger app, added 0.1 percent.

The UK's FTSE 100 index slightly outperformed the broader European market, up 0.1 per cent, as investors cheered a transition deal reached between Britain and the European Union on Monday.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index erased earlier gains to fall 0.1 percent to 31,516.84 after rising more than 1 percent earlier in the day.

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