May 23, 2013
Global shares almost flat ahead of central bank moves
Stocks edged higher on Wednesday in the lightest trading of the year as investors waited for a key speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday.
The Dow Jones industrial average inched up 4.49 points, or 0.03 percent, to 13,107.48. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 1.19 points, or 0.08 percent, to 1,410.49. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 4.04 points, or 0.13 percent, to 3,081.19
The S&P 500 has been pinned in a fairly tight range over the last three weeks, finding support at 1,400 while also unable to convincingly pierce the April high of 1,422.38, which has acted as a resistance point.
European stocks ended slightly lower in extremely low volumes with investors reluctant to boost their exposure to risk pending messages from central banks about any further stimulus measures.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 0.2 percent lower at 1,086.24 points, while the euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index fell 0.3 percent to 2,434.23 points.
Trading volume on the FTSEurofirst 300 represented only 56 percent of the average daily trading volume of the past 90 days, making the session's volume one of the lightest this year.
In Asia, Japanese shares edged higher today with Renesas Electronics Corp surging 35 percent after sources said US private equity fund KKR & Co plans to invest around $1.3 billion in the struggling chipmaker.
The Nikkei average rose 0.4 percent to 9,069.81, breaking above its 14-day moving average at 9,056.00, while the broader Topix put on 0.5 percent to 750.03.