Global stocks were steady on Wednesday as corporate earnings reports sent mixed signals about the economy and trading in currency markets remained volatile.
Although U.S. earnings have been relatively upbeat this week, European reports were distinctly mixed, showing some companies are still in the midst of a deep restructuring of their business. Dutch insurer
French car maker
By midday in Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 6,333.76 while Germany's
Wall Street appeared headed for a higher open, with futures in both the Dow and the broader
Earlier in Asia, Japan's
Traders interpreted the statement as a message directed at Japan, where the yen has plummeted against the dollar since Prime Minister
After falling sharply against the yen on Tuesday, the dollar stabilized on Wednesday, trading 0.1 percent higher at 93.62 yen. The euro, which like the yen rose against the dollar after the G-7 statement, gained another 0.3 percent to $1.3492.
Glenn Levine, senior economist at
He noted that the U.S.
"Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe merely vocalized what everyone already knew, that a cheaper currency is beneficial to growth," Levine said.
The Bank of Japan begins a two-day policy meeting Wednesday but analysts said no new initiatives were expected in light of the impending leadership change.
Elsewhere, Australian stocks closed at their highest level since September 2008. The S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.9 percent to 5,003.70 after the release of strong earnings from Commonwealth Bank of Australia and construction company Leighton Holdings.
South Korea's Kospi advanced 1.6 percent to 1,976.07. Benchmarks in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines also rose.
Markets in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam were closed for Lunar New Year holidays.
In commodity markets, the benchmark crude oil contract for March delivery was up 24 cents to $97.75 per barrel in electronic trading on the