World stocks mixed after US economic data

The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — World stock markets struggled to rise Tuesday after mixed U.S. economic data and as investors became cautious ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.

Figures showing a drop in the rate of home construction in the U.S. and a rise in consumer price inflation left stocks without much momentum. Traders are now mainly focused on the Fed meeting and its implications for the economy.

The Fed’s Open Market Committee is expected to trim its growth projections following its meeting, which concludes Wednesday, after recent data showed that economy shrank in the first quarter because of a severe winter. The central bank, however, is expected to indicate it is not ready to hike interest rates for another year.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX rose 0.4 percent to close at 9,920.32 while France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.6 percent to 4,536.07. The FTSE 100 index of leading British companies advanced 0.2 percent to 6,766.77.

U.S. stocks were more sluggish, with the Dow trading flat at 16,788.43 and the broader S&P 500 up 0.1 percent by the same rate at 1,939.70.

Earlier, in Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.3 percent to close at 14,975.97, rebounding from a sharp 1.1 percent drop the day before as the dollar strengthened 0.4 percent to 102.19 Japanese yen.

South Korea’s Kospi added 0.4 percent to end at 2,001.55 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.4 percent to 23,203.59. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8 percent to 2,066.70. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.2 percent to 5,400.70.

In energy trading, benchmark crude oil for July delivery was flat at $106.90 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 1 cent to $106.90 on Monday.

The euro fell 0.2 percent to $1.3542.

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