Stock market today: World shares are mixed ahead of the Fed’s decision on interest rates

BANGKOK (AP) — Global stocks were mixed on Wednesday ahead of a decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve on interest rates.

European markets opened higher after a mixed session in Asia. US futures rose while oil prices fell.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 rose to its highest level since early 2022, slightly below its all-time high, after a report showed that inflation in the United States is behaving more or less as expected. This has reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve will remain firm on interest rates when it announces its next action on Wednesday afternoon.

Germany's DAX gained 0.2% to 16,830.22 and Paris' CAC 40 rose 0.4% to 7,576.08. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.4% to 7,569.22.

S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 0.1%.

In Asian trading, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.3% to 32,926.35 after the Bank of Japan's quarterly "tankan" report, released on Wednesday, showed business confidence among major manufacturers improved for the third consecutive quarter.

The survey measures corporate sentiment by subtracting the number of companies that say business conditions are negative from those that say they are positive. The latest reading was plus 12, compared to plus 9 in October and plus 5 in June.

"The continued improvement in the 'tankan' suggests that the third-quarter GDP drop was just a blip, but we still expect GDP growth to slow sharply next year," Capital Economics' Marcel Thieliant said in a commentary.

Stocks in China fell on what analysts said was disappointment over the lack of major stimulus measures at a major economic planning conference that ended Tuesday.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.9% to 16,228.75 and the Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.2% to 2,968.76. South Korea's Kospi lost 1% to 2,510.66.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3% to 7,257.80. Taiwan's Taiex rose 0.1% and Bangkok's SET lost 1.3%.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 rose 0.5% to just below its all-time high set in early 2022 following a report showing inflation in the United States is behaving more or less as expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.5% and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.7%.

The inflation report showed that American consumers paid prices for gasoline, food and other living costs last month that were 3.1% higher overall than a year earlier, slightly below inflation in 3.1%. 2% from October and exactly in line with economists' expectations.

The Federal Reserve has already lowered its main interest rate from virtually zero at the beginning of last year to more than 5.25%, its highest level since 2001. It hopes to slow the economy and hurt investment prices by exactly the right amount: enough to end high inflation, but not enough to cause a strong recession.

In other trading Wednesday, a barrel of benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 11 cents to $68.50 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Tuesday, it lost $2.71 to $68.61.

It had been above $93 in September, but has been falling amid concerns that global demand may not catch up with available supplies.

Brent crude, the international standard, fell 10 cents to $73.14 a barrel. It fell $2.79 on Tuesday to $73.24 a barrel.

The US dollar rose to 145.83 Japanese yen from 145.45 yen. The euro fell to $1.0785 from $1.0793.

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