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Global stocks mixed ahead of Fed meeting

Global stocks mixed ahead of Fed meeting

Global stocks were mixed Monday as Wall Street looked ahead to a Federal Reserve decision this week that could see interest rates raised for the first time since the financial crisis. In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index declined 1.8%. China’s Shanghai composite index rose 2.5%. Key European indexes such as Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.4%.Yellen To Be Named As Next Fed Chair By Obama

U.S. stock futures were up about 0.5% several hours ahead of the market’s open in New York. Trading may be volatile with the monetary policy decision in focus. The Federal Serve will announce on Wednesday whether to raise its benchmark rate that has been held near zero since the global financial crisis in 2008. Investors and analysts expect a modest increase of 0.25 percentage points and Fed chief Janet Yellen has said that any increase would be gradual.

Exceptionally low interest rates have helped lift stock prices. The Fed last raised rates in 2006. They have been stuck at near zero ever since for fear of upsetting a fragile economic recovery “Markets are taking a bumpy route to the most awaited event of the year,” Citigroup said in a note to analysts. The European Central Bank earlier this month cut interest rates to 10 basis points to minus 0.3%. Last week, the Dow ended down 3.3% and the price of oil sold off sharply amid market jitters over the potential impact of the Fed’s expected move.