LONDON (AP) — Global stock markets were trading in narrow ranges Wednesday as investors awaited the outcome of policy meetings by the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan. Disappointing earnings results from Apple have also kept a lid on stock prices around the world.
KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.1 percent at 6,290 while Germany's DAX advanced 0.4 percent to 10,298. The CAC-40 in France was 0.3 percent higher at 4,545. Wall Street was poised for a lower opening, with the Dow and S&P futures both down 0.3 percent.
CENTRAL BANKS: The Fed will later announce its latest policy verdict. Though no interest rate increase is anticipated, investors will be interested to see if there's any indication that borrowing costs may rise in June. Overnight, the Bank of Japan is due to announce what it's going to do and many in the markets think another stimulus package may be in the offing.
ANALYST TAKE: "This week's central bank meetings clearly have the potential to derail the current rally if the messaging is ever so slightly off," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.
APPLE DECLINE: Apple's quarterly revenue fell for the first time in more than a decade, as iPhone sales fell compared with a year ago. That's putting more pressure on the world's most valuable public company to come up with its next big product. Apple's stock was marked down 8 percent in after-hours trading.
THE QUOTE: "The end of such a prodigious period of uninterrupted growth will inevitably lead investors to question whether this is a turning point for Apple," said Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
OIL PRICES: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 82 cents to $44.88 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained $1.40, or 3.3 percent, to $44.04 a barrel on Tuesday, its highest close since early November. Brent crude, the international standard, added 98 cents to $46.72.
CURRENCIES: Trading in the currency markets was subdued with the euro flat at $1.1300 and the dollar steady at 111.34 yen.
ASIA'S DAY; Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 0.4 percent to 17,290.49. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.2 percent to 21,361.60. The Shanghai Composite index fell 0.4 percent to 2,953.67. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed early gains, slipping 0.6 percent to 5,250.90. South Korea's KOSPI edged 0.2 percent lower to 2,015.40.