#Oil prices extended a steep slide on Wednesday on the back of worries about weakening world demand and oversupply, while global shares sagged as energy sector strains heightened anxiety about a slow down in the global economy.
Spreadbetters expected European stocks to open lower, with Britain's FTSE (FTSE) losing 0.4 percent, Germany's DAX slipping 0.3 percent (GDAXI) and France's CAC (FCHI) shedding 0.5 percent.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dived 7 percent the previous day, suffering their biggest one-day loss in more than three years. The contracts last stood at $55.30 per barrel (CLc1) for a loss of 0.7 percent, following a descent to a one-year low of $54.75 overnight.
Brent crude (LCOc1) was down 0.35 percent at $65.24 per barrel after tanking 6.8 percent on Tuesday and set an eight-month trough of $64.61.
Brent had soared to a four-year high of $86.74 early in October as the market braced for U.S. sanctions on Iran, but prices have sunk roughly 25 percent since then.
Concerns about global growth pushed MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (MIAPJ0000PUS) down 0.5 percent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng (HSI) dropped 0.55 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index (SSEC) retreated 0.9 percent.
Australian stocks (AXJO) fell 1.75 percent, South Korea's KOSPI (KS11) lost 0.3 percent and Japan's Nikkei (N225) rose 0.16 percent.
The Dow (DJI) and S&P 500 (SPX) ended slightly lower on Tuesday as lower oil prices took a toll on energy shares, offsetting a small gain in technology stocks and renewed hopes for progress in U.S.-China trade talks. (N)
"While the plunge in WTI will no doubt act as a relief for emerging markets and the global consumer, U.S. real rates continue to climb, underwriting the dollar's strength," wrote Sean Darby, chief global equity strategist at Jefferies.
"The competition for capital is coinciding with a sharp slowdown in China and emerging markets, putting pressure on 2019 earnings."
Riskier assets have come under strong selling pressure over the past two months as worries about a peak in earnings growth added to international trade tensions and signs of slowing in global investment and growth.
#Shares of Dollar Tree Inc (O:DLTR) are as big a bargain as the $1 goods it sells in its stores, with shares off 18 percent this year and trading at a discount to its biggest competitor Dollar General Corp (N:DG) and there is a possible activist investor in the wings, according to Barron's.
The U.S. financial newspaper said that Dollar Tree is trading at near a five-year low but could bounce back. The company has been punished for its purchase of rival Family Dollar, but has begun renovating and rebranding the struggling Family Dollar stores, it said.
Barron's said that analysts have been speculating on an activist investor may be interested. Carl Icahn and Nelson Peltz were Family Dollar shareholders who had encouraged a sale before the Dollar Tree acquisition, the newspaper reported.
The New York Post reported in October that Icahn was accumulating shares in the company.
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#The U.S. Federal Reserve began its policy meeting on Wednesday facing a shifting political landscape but little in recent economic data to alter plans for an interest rate increase in December and more to come next year.
The Fed is not expected to raise rates at its two-day session that ends Thursday, a meeting that follows a renewal of volatility in stock prices, tightening credit markets, and a spreading expectation that the U.S. economy will slow next year.
The Fed's policy statement is scheduled to be released at 2 p.m.(1900 GMT) on Thursday, and analysts do not foresee major changes. The meeting began as scheduled on Wednesday at 1 p.m. (1800 GMT), a Fed spokesperson said.
The Fed could flag a possible slowdown in the housing market and a dip in business investment as reason to think growth is ebbing. At the same time employment gains since the Fed's September meeting have been solid, as has household spending.
"We expect very few changes" from the Fed's September policy statement that characterized the economy as "rising at a strong rate," said JP Morgan economist Michael Feroli.
Data released in late October showed the U.S. economy grew at a 3.5 percent annual rate in the three months from July through September, well above the roughly 2 percent annual growth pace that the Fed and many economists regard as the underlying trend.
The Fed will not release updated economic forecasts at this meeting, which is the last one with no press conference scheduled. Beginning in December, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has pledged to hold a press conference after each of the Fed's eight regular policy meetings each year compared to the current practice of one per quarter. Powell as part of his chairmanship has said he wants to boost public understanding of what the Fed does and talk about it in simpler terms.
#Wall Street stock futures and Asian shares held earlier gains on Wednesday after Democrats won control of the U.S. House of Representatives, boosting the party's ability to block President Donald Trump's political and economic agenda.
The Democrats' House win creates a clear hurdle for Republicans to easily pass legislation through both chambers of Congress, clouding the outlook for some of Trump's key economic proposals.
#Merian Chrysalis Investment Company , a Merian Global Investors fund, said on Friday it had raised 100 million pounds via a listing on the London Stock Exchange - half the amount intended. "Despite challenging market conditions - following the global sell-off in October, and investors adopting a cautious outlook - we are pleased to have raised 100 million pounds at launch," the fund's co-fund manager Richard Watts said in a statement.
#The Japanese yen edged lower against the dollar on Wednesday after the Bank of Japan signaled it was a long way off from exiting crisis-era stimulus, while the greenback scaled 16-month highs versus its key rivals on continued strength in the U.S. economy.
The Bank of Japan (BoJ) kept monetary policy steady on Wednesday and cut its price forecasts, reinforcing market expectations that subdued inflation will force it to maintain its massive stimulus program for the time being.
In a widely expected move, the BOJ maintained its short-term interest rate target at minus 0.1 percent and a pledge to guide 10-year government bond yields around zero percent.
The yen changed hands at 113.24 on the dollar, remaining under pressure in Asia after earlier sliding to three-week lows at 113.32. The dollar had gained 0.6 percent on the yen the previous day.
"I still see the main driver for the dollar/yen to be U.S. 10 year bond yields and the overall level of risk aversion in the system which can be gauged by the VIX index," said Sim Moh Siong, currency strategist at Bank of Singapore.
The U.S. 10-year treasury bond yields rose for the third consecutive trading session on Wednesday and were last at 3.13 percent. The 10-year Japanese government bond yield was 0.12 percent, highlighting the wide gap in favor of the dollar.
The dollar index, a gauge of its value versus six major peers, climbed to a fresh 16-month high to hit 97.06.
#European shares rose timidly on Tuesday, their second day of gains as earnings from BP (LON:BP) and Volkswagen (DE:VOWG_p) impressed investors and boosted oil and autos stocks.
The leading euro zone stocks index was up 0.4 percent by 0829 GMT, while Germany's DAX rose 0.3 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 climbed 0.4 percent.
U.S. stocks were hit by a report the United States plans to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports if no progress is made at talks between President Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.
But risk appetite came back slightly in Asian and early European trading after Trump said he expects a "great deal" with China and Beijing made a fresh attempt to stabilize the country's stock markets.
Strong earnings from BP and Volkswagen helped cement the gains. Trading was still laced with anxiety, though, after the past fortnight saw heavy losses across stock markets leaving the pan-European STOXX 600 near a 22-month low.
A beneficiary of higher crude costs, BP jumped 4.3 percent after the oil major's profits soared to a five-year high.
Its gains boosted the oil & gas sector index up 1.3 percent, helping lift the market.
Volkswagen topped the DAX with a 4.6 percent gain after the carmaker's profit topped forecasts - bucking the trend in the autos sector hurt by slower car sales and more stringent anti-emissions regulations.
Autos & parts stocks led gains for a second day, up 1.5 percent.
Several earnings disappointments weighed, with companies continuing to flag cost pressures and difficulties in the construction sector.
Geberit shares were the worst-performing, falling 9.1 percent after the Swiss plumbing supplies provider cut its sales outlook and said it was more cautious about the building industry.
Lufthansa shares tumbled 5.1 percent after the German airline missed profit estimates for the third quarter and said it would raise its number of flights more modestly than peers this season.
#U .S. stock index futures edged higher on Monday, ahead of inflation data that will help gauge the likelihood of higher borrowing costs, one of the factors behind the selloff in recent weeks that sent the S&P to its lowest since May on Friday.
A brutal selloff this month saw Wall Street rocked by jitters over geopolitical events as well as fears over tariffs, rising wages and borrowing costs. The Dow and the S&P 500 returned to negative territory for the year on Friday.
U.S. consumer spending in September is expected to have risen 0.4 percent last month, from a 0.3 percent increase in August, data at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT) is expected to show.
The so-called core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation measure, is expected to have edged up 0.1 percent.
Relief over Italy dodging a ratings downgrade also helped U.S. stock futures reverse a decline after data showed China's industrial profit growth slowed for fifth straight month in September, pointing to cooling domestic demand in the world's second-biggest economy.