Technology stocks led a broad reverse in global markets on Wednesday after Samsung downgraded its profit estimates and networks company Ericsson warned on its outlook. Investors will later look to the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last meeting for hints on how quickly interest rates might be raised.
KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.4 percent to 4,452 while Germany’s DAX fell 0.1 percent to 10,563. Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.5 percent at 7,034. U.S. shares were also set to drift lower with Dow futures down 0.1 percent and the broader S&P 500 futures 0.2 percent lower.
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS: Shares in Samsung, which plunged 8 percent the day before, lost another 0.7 percent on Wednesday. South Korea’s biggest manufacturer is struggling with recalls and a discontinuation of its premium smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, which has proven prone to catch fire. The company revised its profit forecast for the third quarter on Wednesday, to 5.2 trillion won ($4.6 billion), down from the 7.8 trillion won profit estimate it announced Friday.
ERICSSON WARNING: In Sweden, networks maker Ericsson also warned about its profits and said it expected no improvement in the short term. Its shares plunged 17 percent.
FED MINUTES: The release of the Fed’s minutes will later get investors’ attention as they estimate when the central bank will raise interest rates next. U.S. economic indicators have been relatively upbeat in recent weeks, strengthening perceptions that the Fed could hike in December.
THE QUOTE: “Stock markets are becoming nervous about the prospect of rising interest rates against a background of moderate profit growth and relatively high valuations, particularly in the U.S.,” Ric Spooner, chief market analyst for CMC Markets, said in a commentary.
CURRENCIES: The pound remained volatile, gaining ground after the British prime minister said she would open to parliamentary debate the issue of how the country approaches its exit from the European Union. It was up 1 percent on the day at $1.2250. The dollar weakened to 103.90 yen from 103.94 late Tuesday in Asia. The euro fell to $1.1022 from $1.1128.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 1.1 percent to finish at 16,840.00, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.1 percent to 5,474.60. South Korea’s Kospi inched up 0.1 percent to 2,033.73. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 1.0 percent to 23,324.95. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.2 percent to 3,058.50.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 24 cents to $51.03 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 56 cents on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, added 27 cents to $52.68 a barrel in London.