Global stocks dip as Fed meeting looms, oil climbs on geopolitical fears

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks ended nominally lower on Friday as investors awaited next week’s Federal Reserve meeting for signs of imminent easing, while the U.S.-Iran confrontation in the Gulf of Oman added to geopolitical uncertainty, sending oil prices higher.

Logos for Chewy Inc. are displayed on the trading floor on the morning of the company’s IPO at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., June 14, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Lingering worries over the U.S.-China trade war also weighed on investor sentiment. Weak China data and a warning of a broad slowdown in chip demand from chipmaker Broadcom Inc were the latest signs of fallouts from the tariffs both countries have imposed.

The upcoming Fed meeting, on Tuesday and Wednesday, was seen as pivotal for Wall Street, with stocks primed for a selloff if the Fed fails to take an even more dovish tilt after policymakers’ comments raised expectations for a rate cut in recent weeks.

“There’s a lack of information to trade and the magnitude of the importance of the Fed next week can’t be overstated, so you don’t want to put any position on in front of something that has the potential to be such big news,” said Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago

Positive U.S. retail sales data helped boost the dollar and short-term Treasury yields.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 17.16 points, or 0.07%, to 26,089.61, the S&P 500 lost 4.66 points, or 0.16%, to 2,886.98 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 40.47 points, or 0.52%, to 7,796.66.

MSCI’s broad gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.33%, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.40%.

Attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman lifted oil prices, although they posted a weekly loss on

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