Market Buzz: US Fed and ECB take center stage

(RIA Novosti /Syisoev)
Russian markets are likely to trade flat Wednesday as investors watch the US Federal Reserve, which is set to announce its policy meeting decision later in the day.

­Russian stocks closed in the red Tuesday amid a negative global background and uncertainties ahead of meetings by the European Central Bank and the Fed. The MICEX dropped 0.9% and the RTS declined 0.7%.

Doubts about bold action by the ECB weighed down European stocks Tuesday, while disappointing earnings reports from oil group BP and Swiss bank UBS also left investors wary. The Stoxx Europe 600 dropped 1%, while the Spanish IBEX 35 declined 1% and Italy’s FTSE MIB dropped 0.6%.

U.S. stocks fell Tuesday on investor worries that the Fed won’t introduce major stimulus measures at its Wednesday policy meeting. The Dow Jones fell 0.5% and the S&P 500 declined 0.5%, while the Nasdaq lost 0.2%.

Asian stocks inched lower Wednesday following weak Chinese economic data and broader nervousness ahead of the ECB and the Fed meetings. Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.1%, while South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.3% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index shed 0.1%, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.9%.