World markets mostly higher … Fed likely to leave interest rates alone … Odds stacked against US-China resolution
SINGAPORE (AP) – World markets have been mostly higher today as traders awaited the conclusion of a Federal Reserve policy meeting and U.S.-China talks. France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.5 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.8 percent. Germany’s DAX declined 0.2 percent. Wall Street was set for early gains. Wall Street is expected to open higher today, with Dow and S&P futures each up 0.2 percent.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve is likely to leave interest rates unchanged today, and investors will be hoping to hear Chairman Jerome Powell sound a reassuring theme that a pause in the Fed’s rate hikes could last a while. Powell has been invoking the word “patient” to describe the Fed’s latest approach to rates increases. But investors appear worried that the Fed’s policymakers aren’t taking full account of the perils that the U.S. economic expansion might be facing, including a global slowdown and a trade war with China.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The odds seem stacked against any substantive resolution when U.S. and Chinese negotiators start two days of high-level talks Wednesday aimed at settling a six-month trade war. The differences between Beijing and Washington are vast. The U.S. is essentially demanding that China downsize its economic aspiration to become a supreme world leader in such fields as robotics and electric cars.
TOKYO (AP) – The major Japanese business newspaper Nikkei is reporting that Nissan’s former Chairman Carlos Ghosn blames his arrest for alleged falsifying of financial reports and breach of trust on a “plot” by other executives at the Japanese automaker. Nikkei says it interviewed Ghosn today for 20 minutes at the Tokyo Detention Center, where he has been held since Nov. 19. It was his first media interview since his arrest.
TOKYO (AP) – Toyota Motor Corp. sold 10.59 million vehicles globally last year, fewer than the 10.83 million delivered by German rival Volkswagen AG. Separately, the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance reported that its combined global sales stood at 10.76 million vehicles, up 1.4 percent from the previous year.