Shares fell Monday in Europe and Asia, as investors awaited a meeting this week of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Germany’s DAX lost 0.4% to 15,827.65 and the CAC 40 in Paris declined 0.7% to 7,326.66. Britain’s FTSE 100 was virtually unchanged at 7,709.53.
The futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.1%.
Hong Kong’s benchmark was pulled lower by property stocks following reports over the weekend that police had detained staff at the wealth management business of troubled real estate developer China Evergrande.
The Hang Seng dropped 1.4% to 17,930.55.
On Friday, China’s national financial regulator announced it had approved the takeover of the group’s life insurance arm by a new state-owned entity.
Defaults on debts in the property sector since 2021 have resulted in half-finished apartment buildings, disgruntled homebuyers and fears the industry’s troubles might further slow the world’s second-largest economy and shake global financial markets.
Evergrande’s Hong Kong traded shares were up 1.6% after plunging early in the session. Country Garden, another developer facing huge debt obligations amid a slowdown in the industry and a crackdown on excessive borrowing, gave up early gains, falling 1.9%.
The Shanghai Composite was the only major Asian benchmark to advance, gaining 0.3% to 3,125.93.
In Seoul, the Kospi fell 1% to 2,574.72 while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.7% to 7,230.40.
On Friday, Wall Street benchmarks fell, with technology stocks the biggest drag on the market.
The S&P 500 lost 1.2% and the Dow industrials shed 0.8%. The Nasdaq composite gave back 1.6%.
The market posted some gains last week following reports of several healthy economic indicators ahead of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting, which ends Wednesday. That, and a meeting of Japan’s central bank, are the biggest highlights expected for the week.
Investors are bound to focus on the Fed’s meeting. The U.S. central bank raised rates aggressively through 2022 and 2023 in an effort to tame inflation, but it kept interest rate levels at its last meeting. Inflation has generally been easing back to its target of 2%.
Traders are overwhelmingly betting that the Fed will hold interest rates steady. They also expect the central bank could hold rates steady for the rest of the year. The Fed has said it remains willing to continue raising rates if it seems necessary to continue fighting inflation.
In other trading Monday, benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 31 cents to US$91.08 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It added 61 cents to US$90.77 a barrel on Friday.
Brent crude, the pricing standard for international trading, was up 20 cents at US$94.13 a barrel.
The U.S. dollar weakened to 147.65 Japanese yen from 147.72 yen. The euro slipped to US$1.0664 from US$1.0666.