US stocks were broadly flat on Wednesday morning as investors held off from making any sudden moves until the Fed announces the outcome of its latest round of talks.
The blue-chip S&P 500 inched up 0.02 per cent to 4,404 during opening trading, while the Dow Jones lost 0.12 oer cent.
The Nasdaq led the gains, up 0.56 per cent after a bumper crop of earnings were published by tech-megacaps yesterday.
The Federal Open Market Committee is set to provide details on its round of discussions at 2pm UK time today.
Yields on ten-year Treasuries were flat at 1.26 per cent ahead of the announcement.
Travel stocks push FTSE 100 higher after quarantine rules eased for vaccinated
London’s FTSE 100 edged higher on Wednesday as a rally among travel stocks helped push the index into positive territory during the afternoon session.
The capital’s premier index jumped 0.23 per cent to 7,012 during afternoon trading.
Gains among mining stocks were triggered after the UK government announced quarantine rules for double jabbed arrivals from the US and EU will be scrapped this coming Monday.
“A big sigh of relief has rippled through the travel and aviation sector,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
The gains helped to reverse morning losses concentrated among mining stocks prompted by the UK’s City watchdog announcing it was investigating Rio Tinto’s running of a mine in the Mongolian desert overnight.
The domesically-focused FTSE 250 rose 0.65 per cent during the afternoon session, while AIM shares climbed 0.94 per cent.
The pound edged down 0.06 per cent against the dollar to buy $1.38.
Winners and losers
The afternoon’s biggest winner was miner Fresnillo, climbing 6.79 per cent to 805.20p after it announced silver production was higher than initial forecasts.
Wealth manager St. James’s Place came second, adding 4.94 per cent to rise to 1,582.50p after it released improved forward guidance of net-inflows into its funds in the second half of the year.
British Airways parent company IAG came third, boosted by the easing of travel restrictions on US and EU arrivals, up 3.35 per cent to 181.20p.
Reckitt Benckiser led the day’s biggest fallers, sliding 3.05 per cent to 5,526p, as investors continued to reduce their exposure to the firm after it warned its margins are being eroded by higher input costs yesterday.
Broadcaster ITV was the second worst performer, dropping 2.05 per cent to 116.9p, driven by it publishing results that came in below analysts’ expectations.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “ITV’s latest H1 results were a little underwhelming, foregoing an interim dividend with a pledge to pay a final dividend of 3.3p per share at the full year results.”
Bank HSBC was the third biggest faller, dipping 1.71 per cent to 396.40p.
Around the world
Fears over an intesifying regulatory crackdown from Chinese authorities continued to weigh heavily on Asian markets during overnight trading.
Japan’s Nikkei dropped 1.39 per cent. However, China’s CSI 300 inched up slightly by 0.19 per cent.
European shares opened up – the Stoxx 600 added 0.19 per cent during the opening session.