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Global Shares Mixed Ahead of Fed Report01/26 04:56

   Global shares were mixed on Wednesday, with many investors staying on the 
sidelines ahead of an update on how aggressively the Federal Reserve will 
tackle inflation.

   TOKYO (AP) -- Global shares were mixed on Wednesday, with many investors 
staying on the sidelines ahead of an update on how aggressively the Federal 
Reserve will tackle inflation.

   France's CAC 40 added nearly 1.0% in early trading to 6,903.90, while 
Germany's DAX gained 1.2% to 15,309.64. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.2% to 
7,461.86. The future for the Dow industrials climbed 0.3% to 34,287.00. The S&P 
500 future was 0.4% higher at 4,367.50.

   Stocks have gyrated this week as markets focused on whether the U.S. central 
bank will clarify just how fast it plans to tighten credit and potentially slow 
the economy. The Fed's two-day meeting wraps up on Wednesday.

   At the same time, tensions over the Russia and Ukraine tensions continue to 
grab attention.

   Ukraine's leaders have reassured their country that an invasion from 
neighboring Russia is not imminent but acknowledged the threat is real and 
received a shipment of U.S. military equipment to shore up their defenses.

   Moscow has denied it is planning an assault, but it has massed an estimated 
100,000 troops near Ukraine in recent weeks and is holding military drills at 
multiple locations in Russia. That has led the United States and its NATO 
allies to rush to prepare for a possible war.

   "Market volatility remains elevated as investors are still feeling jittery 
over a very tense Ukraine-Russia situation, a whole range of inflationary 
issues that include a potentially aggressive Fed and a global chip problem that 
just won't get any better," Edward Moya of Oanda said in a commentary.

   Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.4% to finish at 27,011.33. South 
Korea's Kospi edged down 0.4% to 2,709.24. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was little 
changed, gaining less than 0.1% to 24,245.17, while the Shanghai Composite rose 
0.7% to 3,455.67. Australian markets were closed for a holiday.

   Some on Wall Street worry that the Fed may signal it plans a half-point 
increase in its key rate. There is also concern that Fed Chair Jerome Powell 
could suggest that the central bank will raise rates more times this year than 
the four hikes most economists are expecting.

   Higher inflation has been squeezing businesses and consumers, and the Fed is 
expected to combat it in 2022 by raising interest rates. Investors fear that 
the Fed could either be moving too late or could be too aggressive.

   The pandemic still hovers over the economy, threatening to crimp progress 
with every new wave of infections.

   In China, reported local COVID-19 cases have dropped but some people are 
wary of infections spreading with next week's Lunar New Year holiday and the 
Beijing Winter Olympics, which begin Feb. 4.

   The International Monetary Fund cited the omicron variant as the reason it 
has downgraded its forecast for global economic growth this year.

   That is "consistent with disrupted and dampened recovery out of the 
pandemic," Mizuho Bank said in a report. "Rolling supply-chain kinks, troubling 
escalation and broadening of inflation, and stuttered re-opening due to the 
omicron variant of (COVID) are in the line-up of 'usual suspects' for the 
dimmer recovery in 2022," it said.

   In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude added 20 cents to $85.80 a barrel in 
electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It jumped $2.29 to 
$85.60 a barrel on Tuesday.

   Brent crude, the basis for pricing international oil, picked up 29 cents to 
$88.47 a barrel.

   In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose to 114.10 Japanese yen from 113.87 
yen. The euro cost $1.1299, down from $1.1300.

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