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Global Shares Mixed in Quiet Trade     06/16 05:12

   Global shares were mixed in quiet trading Wednesday ahead of a U.S. Federal 
Reserve meeting that may give clues on what lies ahead with its massive support 
for markets.

   TOKYO (AP) -- Global shares were mixed in quiet trading Wednesday ahead of a 
U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that may give clues on what lies ahead with its 
massive support for markets.

   France's CAC 40 added 0.1% in early trading to 6,645.92, while Germany's DAX 
slipped 0.2% to 15,698.98. Britain's FTSE 100 gained nearly 0.1% to 7,176.83. 
U.S. shares were set to drift lower, with the future for the Dow industrials 
slipping 0.2% to 34,117, while the S&P 500 future fell nearly 0.1% to 4,233.62.

   Trading in shares of Chinese property developer Soho China Ltd. was 
suspended in Hong Kong. Bloomberg reported that the Blackstone Group is close 
to a deal on acquiring the company in a deal that could be valued at $3 
billion. The report cited unnamed "people familiar with the matter."

   The developer, which is known for eye-catching projects in prominent 
locations, issued a statement saying its shares were suspended from trading as 
of Tuesday under Hong Kong's takeover code.

   Soho China's shares have surged 67% in the past month and nearly 30% in the 
past five days.

   Japan released data that showed its trade surplus jumped 49.6% in May from 
the previous year, but analysts said that was less than expected and highlights 
how the world's third largest economy and its exports may be only slowly 
recovering from the pandemic.

   Investors were also gauging data out of China on industrial production and 
retail sales, both of which showed growth signaling a recovery from the damage 
of the coronavirus pandemic.

   Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.5% to finish at 29,291.01. South Korea's Kospi 
rose 0.6% to 3,278.68. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained nearly 0.1% to 7,386.20. 
Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.7% to 28,436.84, while the Shanghai Composite fell 
1.1% to 3,518.33.

   "Asian markets are quiet ahead of the Fed," said Robert Carnell, regional 
head of research Asia-Pacific at ING. "China's data dump may stir things up a 
bit today, but the main focus will be on the Fed's message and any hints they 
may give."

   The fear is that if higher inflation gets entrenched, the Fed may pull back 
on the $120 billion in monthly purchases of bonds it's pledged to keep 
mortgages cheap and longer-term interest rates low, and might raise short-term 
interest rates off their record low.

   The Fed has so far said that it sees higher inflation as temporary. It will 
announce its latest decision on rate policy Wednesday afternoon.

   "From a prices standpoint, we're seeing inflationary pressure, and we 
believe the jury is still out on the timing and extent of when we see a 
leveling or whether this new new normal of higher prices is cemented," said 
Greg Bassuk, founder and CEO of AXS Investments.

   Most economists expect the Fed to say again on Wednesday that it sees higher 
inflation being only temporary, which would allow it to hold steady on its 
support for markets. But they also say Wednesday afternoon could offer the 
first sign that the Fed is mulling when to start slowing its purchases of bonds.

   Many investors agree with the Fed's view that higher inflation won't last 
very long, and that it's the expected result of an economy escaping out of 
pandemic lockdowns.

   In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude gained 8 cents to $72.20 a barrel in 
electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained $1.24 on 
Tuesday to $72.12 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added 10 
cents to $74.09 a barrel.

   In currency trading, the U.S. dollar fell to 109.97 Japanese yen from 110.07 
yen. The euro stood unchanged at $1.2127.

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