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Stocks Drift After Weak US Earnings    01/28 06:52

   Global stocks drifted Wednesday after weak earnings from several U.S. 
companies added to global growth concerns as investors waited for the U.S. 
Federal Reserve's latest statement on monetary policy.

   BEIJING (AP) --- Global stocks drifted Wednesday after weak earnings from 
several U.S. companies added to global growth concerns as investors waited for 
the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest statement on monetary policy.

   KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX rose 0.2 percent to 4,627.12 and France's CAC 
40 added 0.1 percent to 4,626.85. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.1 percent to 
6,820.75. Wall Street looked set for a mixed session following the previous 
day's declines. Dow futures were down 0.1 percent at 17,361 while S&P 500 
futures gained 0.2 percent to 2,033.80.

   US ECONOMY: Wall Street slumped Tuesday after companies including Microsoft, 
Caterpillar and Procter & Gamble reported disappointing earnings. Lower orders 
for durable goods fueled concern about the American economy's ability to drive 
earnings if global growth weakens. The Fed ends its first policy meeting of 
2015 on Wednesday and is widely expected to repeat its pledge to be patient in 
raising interest rates from record lows. Inflation has fallen further below the 
Fed's target rate, thanks to plunging oil prices and a surging dollar that 
makes imports cheaper.

   THE QUOTE: "The impact of global growth is slowly starting to be reflected 
in corporate earnings with an underwhelming reporting session in the US setting 
the tone for global markets," IG strategist Stan Shamu said in a commentary. 
The weak earnings "set off the alarm bells and resulted in investors exercising 
caution ahead of the results from the Fed meeting which concludes today," he 
said. "Not much change is expected from the Fed after the detailed commentary 
from the last meeting."

   ASIA'S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 1.4 percent to 3,305.74. 
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.2 percent to 17,795.73 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 
0.2 percent to 24,861.81. Seoul's Kospi gained 0.5 percent to 1,961.58 and 
Sydney, New Zealand and Bangkok also rose. Benchmarks in Taiwan, India and 
Singapore declined.

   EUROPE: Greece's new left-wing prime minister picked a critic of European 
Union bailout terms as his finance minister, signaling his resolve to push for 
lenders to write off part of its debt. But concern about a confrontation 
between the European Union and the newly elected Syriza party, which vowed to 
end painful austerity measures, eased after both sides said they were open to 
negotiation.

   ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 54 cents to $45.69 in electronic 
trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added $1.08 on 
Tuesday to close at $46.23. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 
50 cents to $49.10 after gaining $1.44 on Tuesday.

   CURRENCY: The dollar fell to 117.73 yen from Tuesday's 117.80 yen. The euro 
edged down to $1.1336 from the previous session's $1.1362.


(AG)


 
 
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