Wall St edges higher on oil jump, tech still soft

US STOCKS-Futures lower ahead of Fed meeting

US STOCKS-Futures lower ahead of Fed meeting

USA stocks gained on Wednesday afternoon, ahead of an near-certain interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve, as Facebook Inc's (FB.O) shares reversed course to trade higher and energy stocks got a boost from rising oil prices.

Investors are also focused on the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting where it is expected to raise interest rates by a quarter %age point.

Markets were also spooked by signs of a brewing global trade war - a Wall Street Journal report saying China was planning counter-measures against USA trade tariffs.

The Facebook losses, caused by uproar over the alleged misuse of user data, have filtered through the tech sector, with shares in Twitter falling more than 10% on Tuesday.

Y, which benefit from a higher rate environment, briefly extended gains in the wake of the announcement but lost ground to close down 0.03 percent.

South Africa's February inflation rate eases to 4 percent
The BoE expects wages to grow more quickly than inflation later this year. The BoE expects pay to rise faster than prices.

The past nine years of United States stock market gains have come with the Fed fostering an environment of easy money for the financial system, but it has begun gradually withdrawing that accommodation as the economy appears to be on healthier footing.

"We expect interest rates to inch higher, but not at an accelerated pace and that's why you've got some strength here today", said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 44.96 points, or 0.18 percent, to end at 24,682.31, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 5.01 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,711.93 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 19.02 points, or 0.26 percent, to 7,345.29.

The WSJ report fuelled some buying of German bonds, pushing the 10-year yield off the day's highs. "But if we see retaliation, and significant trade disruptions, it's a different order of magnitude (which) could begin to affect global growth forecasts", said Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at Aberdeen Standard Investments. He imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminium earlier this month.

Concerns about rising U.S. Treasury bond issuance as the government faces a widening fiscal deficit after last year's U.S. tax cuts has seen yields rise this year.

Moses beat Ndidi, Iheanacho to FA Cup semis as Chelsea edge Leicester
Morata's goal was the only chance of the first half, it was harsh to concede just before half-time. The extra period started slowly and it came as a surprise when Chelsea went back in front.

Fears of a trade war have also weighed on commodity prices, though tensions in the Middle East supported oil, lifting Brent futures nearly half a percent.

The US central bank has raised borrowing costs five times since late 2015.

Amazon.com climbed 2.69 percent, topping Google-parent Alphabet Inc.in market value, and becoming the second most valuable company in the U.S.

As a result shares in soybean exporter Archer-Daniels (ADM.N) fell 1 percent and Bunge (BG.N) dropped 0.7 percent.

Turkish and allied troops capture Syrian town from Kurdish militia
The official casualty figure for Turkish soldiers in the operation stands at 271, with 46 killed, and 225 others injured. But a growing number of witness accounts and social media posts indicated that the Free Syrian Army had entered.

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