TOKYO - Global stocks were mixed in listless trading Wednesday ahead of key jobs data later this week in the U.S. that could lead to higher interest rates.
France’s CAC 40 rose 0.5 percent in early trading to 4,479.46 and Germany’s DAX inched down 0.01 percent to 10,656.05. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.05 percent to 6,824.12.
U.S. shares were also directionless, with Dow futures slipping 0.04 percent, while S&P 500 futures were down 0.02 percent.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 1.0 percent to finish at 16,887.40, cheered by a stronger dollar that boosts the earnings of Japanese exporters. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.3 percent to 2,034.65. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down nearly 0.2 percent to 22,976.88, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.4 percent to 3,085.49.
Investors continue to wait to see whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this year. Comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and Vice Chair Stanley Fisher at a conference last week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, signaled that the Fed is ready to raise interest rates later this year.
The next key piece of U.S. economic data is coming on Friday with the August jobs report. Economists expect employers added 182,500 jobs in August and that the unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.8 percent. A strong jobs report would give the Federal Reserve additional ammunition to raise interest rates either at its September meeting or later this year.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 21 cents to $46.14. It fell 63 cents to $46.35 a barrel Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price oil internationally, fell 38 cents to $48.35 a barrel.
“U.S. rate hike fever continues dominating the foreign exchange landscape. The U.S. dollar is trading favorably despite the next major catalyst, Friday’s jobs report. The market is stuck between the good cop, bad cop performance from Yellen and Fischer at Jackson Hole,” said Stephen Innes, senior trader at Oanda.
The dollar rose to 103.19 yen from 102.33 late Tuesday. The euro slipped to $1.1146 from $1.1174.