World equity markets edged lower yesterday, with US stocks opening on the defensive while the US dollar strengthened ahead of a monetary policy announcement by the Federal Reserve.
US shares modestly fell in the wake of Wednesday’s post-election rally of more than two per cent. Those gains came as investors celebrated political gridlock in the US as Democrats took control of the House of Representatives after the midterm congressional vote, while Republicans maintained control of the Senate.
A spate of weak earnings also gave investors reason for pause, with Qualcomm QCOM.O one of the biggest drags on the benchmark S&P 500 index, down nearly seven per cent as the loss of chip sales to Apple AAPL.O caused the company to cut its fourth-quarter outlook.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 25.31 points, or 0.10 per cent, at 26,205.10, the S&P 500 was down 3.43 points, or 0.12 per cent, at 2,810.46 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 18.61 points, or 0.25 per cent, at 7,552.23.
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe dipped 0.03 per cent.
European shares were poised to close modestly higher, led by banking shares following results from names such as SocGen and Commerzbank.
The dollar advanced ahead of the Fed policy statement, scheduled for 2pm EST (1900 GMT), but there is little in recent economic data to alter plans for an interest rate increase in December and more to come next year.