A woman walks through the viewing area at the Australian Stock Exchange in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Financial markets were mostly closed in Asia on Wednesday for holidays after Wall Street capped a wobbly trading session with meager gains. Australia's S&P ASX 200 rose 0.8% after ANZ reported a 2% increase in its profit, kicking off the earnings season for the country's Big Four banks. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

World markets mostly closed, Wall Street futures gain

May 01, 2019 - 3:08 am

BANGKOK (AP) — Financial markets were mostly closed in Europe and Asia on Wednesday, while Wall Street futures advanced as investors awaited comment from the U.S. central bank.

Britain's FTSE 100 gained 2.47 points to 7,420.69. Australia's S&P ASX 200 rose 0.8% on Wednesday to 6,375.90 after ANZ reported a 2% increase in its profit, kicking off the earnings season for the country's Big Four banks. New Zealand's benchmark fell 0.6%.

The future contract for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3% to 26,667.00 while that for the S&P 500 added 0.4% to 2,958.70.

There was no word of specific progress in China-U.S. trade talks in Beijing as officials wrapped up the talks without speaking to reporters or disclosing any details.

With most global markets closed, investors are focusing on a meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve, whose policymakers are due to issue another update on interest rate policy and their view on the U.S. economy.

The U.S. stock market has been riding high this year after mounting a big comeback from a steep slump at the end of 2018. Investors have been cheered by signs the global growth is reviving.

The Federal Reserve has done the most to allay the market's jitters this year by signaling that it may not raise interest rates at all in 2019 after seven increases the previous two years.

"We know that Donald Trump has tried several times to push the Fed hand towards cutting the interest rate," Naeem Aslam of Thinkmarkets.com said in a commentary. "The fact is that the Fed isn't going to cut the interest rates anytime soon and strong GDP numbers provide enough catalyst for the Fed to stay firm on their current stance."

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gave up 46 cents to $63.45 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 0.6% to settle at $63.91 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 25 cents to $71.81 per barrel. It added 1.1% to close at $72.80 per barrel in the previous session.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.32 Japanese yen from 111.42 yen late Tuesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1240 from $1.1215.