Wall Street headed lower early Wednesday ahead of the release of notes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting and new jobs data out later in the week.
Futures for the benchmark S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.5% before the bell.
Notes from the monthly Fed meeting at which its key interest rate was left unchanged are due for release Wednesday. Fed officials have said rates might be raised two more times this year, but traders hope they will decide enough already has been done to cool inflation.
On Friday the U.S. reports employment data for June, a day after data on weekly jobs and separately, job openings, are released.
“Interest rate expectations could be reshaped depending on how the cards fall with regards to these key releases,” said Tim Waterer of KCM Trade in a report.
The U.S. labor market has weathered a more than year-long effort by the Fed to cool it — and the broader economy — by raising interest rates. Layoffs are historically low, job openings plentiful and the economy continues to add jobs at a healthy rate.
The Fed’s next interest rate decision comes later this month.
Shares of UPS slid more than 2% after contract negotiations broke down over night between the company and the Teamsters union representing some 340,000 UPS workers. Each side accused the other of walking away from negotiations. The current contract expires at the end of the month and Teamsters members last month voted in favor of a strike authorization.
At midday in Europe, the FTSE 100 in London and the DAX in Frankfurt each lost 0.5%, while the CAC 40 in Paris retreated 0.6%.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7% to 3,222.94 after a measure of China’s service industry activity fell to its lowest level this year, adding to signs its recovery following the end of anti-virus controls is cooling.
The monthly purchasing managers’ index issued by a Chinese business magazine, Caixin, fell to 53.9 from May’s 57.1 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity increasing. A measure of factory activity also declined.
“Without policy support, there’s a risk that weakening growth expectations could become self-fulfilling,” said Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management in a report.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo retreated 0.2% to 33,338.70 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1.6% to 19,110.38.
The Kospi in Seoul retreated 0.6% to 2,579.00 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.4% to 7,253.20.
India’s Sensex lost 0.3% to 65,301.84. New Zealand and Jakarta gained while Singapore and Bangkok declined.
China’s economic activity accelerated to 4.5% in the first three months of 2023 from last year’s 3%. China’s No. 2 leader, Premier Li Qiang, said last month growth was improving. He gave no details but expressed confidence China can hit this year’s official growth target of “about 5%.”
Traders are uneasy about U.S.-Chinese tensions over technology trade after Beijing this week announced restrictions on exports of gallium and germanium, two metals used in making semiconductors and solar panels. That came ahead of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s visit this week as part of U.S. efforts to restore strained relations.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.47 to $71.26 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the price basis for international oil trading, lost 9 cents to $76.16 per barrel in London.
The dollar rose to 144.60 yen from Tuesday’s 144.46 yen. The euro gained to $1.0879 from $1.0870.
McDonald reported from Beijing; Ott reported from Silver Spring, Md.