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Stocks solid a day of crucial Fed and Bank of Japan meeting

Posted September 20

— Global stock markets traded with a positive bias Tuesday, a day ahead of policy statements from the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan that could go a long way to driving sentiment over the rest of the year.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France's CAC 40 was up 0.4 percent at 4,411 while Germany's DAX rose 0.7 percent to 10,444. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.6 percent higher at 6,851. U.S. stocks were poised to make some solid gains at the open with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.4 percent.

FED FACTOR: Most of the attention in markets on a day that's largely bereft of economic data is centered on the central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan. While the Fed is expected to keep interest rates unchanged on Wednesday at the conclusion of its two-day deliberations, it could well hint that another rate hike is more than likely by the end of the year. Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan is expected to unveil some further measures to boost the ailing Japanese economy. Possible action could involve an increase in its stimulus program or a further cut into negative territory in the deposit rate aimed at encouraging banks to lend rather than hoard bank at the central bank.

ANALYST TAKE: "Markets around the world are relatively sanguine, as we move into a 36-hour period that could determine their fate for the remainder of the year," said David Cheetham, market analyst at XTB. "Stocks are continuing higher after yesterday's gains, but remain delicately poised heading into this potentially pivotal sequence of central bank events."

ASIA'S DAY: Ahead of the Bank of Japan decision that could well have a big impact on the Japanese yen, Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 closed down 0.2 percent at 16,492.15. Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea's Kospi added 0.5 percent to 2,025.71 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2 percent at 5,303.60. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped 0.1 percent to 23,530.86 while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.1 percent to 3,023.00.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 46 cents to $43.40 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slipped 49 cents to $45.46 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro was flat at $1.1179 while the dollar rose 0.1 percent to 101.92 yen.

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