Global stocks were relatively unchanged on Wednesday morning after Japan's benchmark index rebounded in overnight trading following a sharp selloff on Tuesday, despite ongoing concerns about the nuclear crisis there.
U.S. stock index futures were flat with about an hour before markets open, suggesting stocks will open unchanged. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were down 9 points or less than 0.1 per cent. Futures for the broader S&P 500 were down less than 1 point. Both indexes were hit hard on Tuesday, with the Dow ending the day down 1.2 per cent after recovering some lost ground in afternoon trading.
In Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was down 0.5 per cent and Germany's DAX index was up 0.4 per cent in afternoon trading. Both indexes fell between 2 and 3 per cent on Tuesday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 5.7 per cent.
There was little driving stocks at this point, other than the vague belief that global stocks had been sold off too aggressively earlier in the week. However, investors will be digesting a flurry of U.S. economic reports, including the producer price index, the current account balance and housing starts.
The price of crude oil rose to $98.44 (U.S.) a barrel, up $1.26. Gold rose to $1403 an ounce, up $11, after a sharp drop on Tuesday.