Wall Street stocks gave up early gains and finished lower on Wednesday amid a sell-off in technology stocks as investors took profit ahead of earnings reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.1%, the S&P 500 index 0.5%, while the Nasdaq Composite index dropped 1.4%. After the closing bell, Google parent Alphabet Inc. reported a significant slowdown in ad sales and lower-than-expected profit. Today, Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. will announce their quarterly results.
In Asia, shares traded mostly positive as investors await a U.S. Federal Reserve decision on monetary policy. By the way, it is widely expected that the US central bank will refrain from fresh aggressive supportive measures. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inched up about 0.2%, the Shanghai Composite added 0.4%, South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.8%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.9%. Japan’s Nikkei was closed for a holiday.
European stock markets opened marginally higher on Wednesday. On the one hand, the markets are supported by recovery attempts in oil prices. On the other hand, the coronavirus-related concerns coupled with a cautious tone ahead of earning reports cap investor optimism.
Meanwhile, the dollar remains under the selling pressure nearly across the board ahead of fresh economic data and Federal Reserve’s decision. EURUSD has been flirting with the 1.0870 area, still struggling to overcome the 1.09 handle. On the data front, German import prices contracted 3.5% on a monthly basis in March, coming in short of estimates while private sector loans expanded 3.4% over the last twelve months.
Elsewhere, gold prices are trading in a flat manner today. The bullion has settled above the $1,700 psychological level after three days of losses. The precious metal registered local lows around $1,691 on Tuesday and bounced above the mentioned handle. Now, the prices need to make a decisive break above the $1,710 area in order to proceed to a more robust recovery. On the downside, the $1,680 region could cap the potential downside pressure.