Markets eye central banks

London: European and US stock markets steadied on Monday as investors waited on key global interest rate decisions.

In afternoon London trading, the British capital’s benchmark FTSE 100 index added 0.09 percent, while Frankfurt slid 0.3 percent and Paris pared 0.2 percent.

On Wall Street, the Dow added less than a tenth of a percentage point at the opening bell, while the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite drifted down.

“Things are looking flattish at the moment,” said market analyst Patrick O’Hare. “All things considered, that might not be such a bad thing if that’s how things stand at the end of this loaded week.”

The Bank of Japan will reveal the outcome of its latest monetary policy meeting on Tuesday, followed by the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday and then the Bank of England on Thursday.

Asian markets dropped Monday, following Wall Street’s downbeat finish last week on fears that US economic growth has peaked, and with investors cautious ahead of central bank news.

“Monday’s barren economic calendar (has been) allowing the markets to stew ahead of the week’s trio of central bank get-togethers,” noted Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.

Last week, the European Central Bank was unperturbed by global trade tensions Thursday, leaving unchanged its plans to exit massive eurozone stimulus by December.

There has been widespread speculation about whether Japan’s central bank may be looking to alter its ultra-loose monetary policy.

“Lacklustre trading continued as investors want to know the results of Japanese and US central bankers’ policy decisions,” Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

– Key figures around 1330 GMT –

New York – Dow Jones: UP 0.05 percent to 25,464.82 points

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.09 percent at 7,708.17

Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.3 percent at 12,827.93

Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.2 percent at 5,502.03

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,518.14

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.74 percent at 22,544.84 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.37 percent at 28,697.45

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.16 percent at 2,869.05 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1695 from $1.1657 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3124 from $1.3105

Dollar/yen: UNCHANGED at 111.05 yen

Oil – Brent Crude: UP 75 cents at $75.04 per barrel

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP $1.47 at $70.16.