Global stocks down ahead of Fed meeting

BEIJING (AP) — Global stocks fell Tuesday following Wall Street’s decline as jittery investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates and Britain’s vote on European Union membership.

KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, France’s CAC-40 fell 1.3 percent to 4,172.53 and Germany’s DAX retreated 1.2 percent to 9,540.16. London’s FTSE 100 declined 1 percent to 5,982.51. On Monday, the DAX closed down 1.8 percent, the CAC-40 fell 1.9 percent and the FTSE 100 lost 1.2 percent. Wall Street looked set for more declines, with futures for the Dow Jones industrial average off 0.2 percent and the Standard & Poor’s 500 down 0.3 percent.

FED WATCH: The Fed had been expected to raise interest rates but now appears likely to wait and see how economic changes develop. The central bank’s two-day meeting starts Tuesday, with a decision on interest rates Wednesday. Last month, many investors were betting that the Fed would hike rates, but the two most recent monthly U.S. jobs reports put a damper on those expectations.

BREXIT: Stocks are under pressure from uncertainty about whether British voters will choose to leave the European Union in a June 23 referendum. Some polls show a majority are in favor of leaving, known informally as Brexit.

CHINA WEAKNESS: Factory output and investment in May were weaker than expected, hurt by slow foreign and domestic demand. Industrial production held steady at 6 percent. Growth in investment in factories and other fixed assets weakened to 9.6 percent in the January-May period from 10.5 percent for the four months through April. “Momentum appears to be stalling after a solid start to 2016,” said Mizuho Bank in a report.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index lost 1 percent to 15,859.00 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost 2.1 percent to 5,203.30. Seoul’s Kospi retreated 0.4 percent to 1,972.03, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.6 percent to 20,387.53 and India’s Sensex lost 0.3 percent to 26,319.00. Benchmarks in New Zealand, Singapore and the Philippines also declined. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 2,842.19.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 73 cents to $48.14 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 19 cents on Monday to close at $48.88. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 66 cents to $49.69 per barrel in London. It shed 19 cents on Monday to $50.35.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 105.75 yen from Monday’s 105.96 yen. The euro edged down to $1.1233 from $1.1293.