Global market report - January 30

World markets were mixed ahead of the Federal Reserve decision, US trade talks and a raft of earnings from the likes of Facebook, Tesla and McDonald's

James Gard 30 January, 2019 | 7:00PM

North America

The Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision and press conference is the highlight for the day, but the US GDP number – due before the stock market opens – runs a close second. Although no change to interest rates is expected, any forward-looking statements about the path of monetary policy will be pounced on by investors. The market consensus is for the Fed to proceed cautiously this year, especially with growth expected to tail off.

Canada GDP for November is due on Thursday.

Apple (AAPL) shares are up 5% in pre-market trading despite a fall in iPhone sales in the latest quarter. The smartphone giant, kicking off tech earnings season, hinted at possible price cuts to arrest the 15% slide in revenue from the flagship product. CEO Tim Cook said that the company has started to soak up some of the higher costs from a stronger dollar.

Microsoft (MSFT) reports on Wednesday and Facebook (FB) updates investors on Thursday. Alibaba (BABA) also reports today, as well as familiar names Visa (V), Boeing (BA) and McDonald’s (MCD). Tesla (TSLA) reports numbers after the market closes.


Once again with Brexit developments, currency markets had anticipated political events. The pound made gains in previous days to as high as $1.32 ahead of Tuesday’s amendment votes. So a lack of price movement in sterling after last night’s drama was to be expected.

Unlike much of Europe’s stock markets, UK indices were in positive territory today. The FTSE 100 is close to breaching 6,900 points with a rise of nearly 60 points this morning.

Eurozone GDP is due tomorrow.


China shares dropped late in today’s trading session, with the Shanghai Composite Index and CSI 300 closing under 1% lower. But global markets are understandably mixed ahead of the start of US-China trade talks today and the Federal Reserve meeting. Chinese New Year is also looming, so any strong price movements seem unlikely with only two trading days left.

Japan’s Nikkei also drifted lower, closing down over 100 points, or 0.5% at 20,556.


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James Gard

James Gard  James Gard is subeditor for