(Alliance News) - Stocks in London are set to open flat on Wednesday, as investors look ahead to the Federal Reserve meeting minutes, and results from Nvidia.

IG says futures indicate the FTSE 100 to open up 0.8 of a point at 7,720.01 on Wednesday. The index of London large-caps closed down 9.29 points, 0.1%, at 7,719.21 on Tuesday.

Sterling was quoted at USD1.2625 early Wednesday, lower than USD1.2649 at the London equities close on Tuesday. The euro traded at USD1,0810, down from USD1.0818 . Against the yen, the dollar was quoted at JPY150.06, up versus JPY149.84.

In the US on Tuesday, Wall Street ended in the red, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.2%, the S&P 500 down 0.6% and the Nasdaq Composite down 0.9%.

Nvidia fell 4.4% ahead of fourth quarter earnings, which are due after the closing bell in New York.

"With only a few mega-cap stocks driving most of the recent gains in the market, any potential shortfall in Nvidia's earnings, especially amid high expectations, could trigger a broader pullback in stocks," said SPI Asset Management's managing partner Stephen Innes.

In Asia on Wednesday, the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo was down 0.3%. In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 1.3%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was up 1.9%.

HSBC fell 4.1% in Hong Kong, upon the release of its annual results.

The Asia-focused lender announced further share buybacks as annual profit soared on the back of higher interest rates, though its fourth-quarter performance suffered due to an impairment.

HSBC said pretax profit in 2023 surged 78% to USD30.35 billion from USD17.06 billion, while total revenue rose 30% to USD66.06 billion, from USD50.62 billion. HSBC said it has approved a fourth interim dividend of USD0.31 per share, bringing the total dividend to USD0.61 per share, almost double that of USD0.32 in 2022. HSBC also said it will begin a share buyback of up to USD2.0 billion.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed down 0.7%.

Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto said annual consolidated sales revenue dipped to USD54.04 billion in 2023, from USD55.55 billion in 2022.

Pretax profit dropped to USD13.79 billion from USD18.66 billion. Rio Tinto cut its annual dividend payout by 12% to 435.0 cents from 492.0 cents.

Gold was quoted at USD2,030.23 an ounce early Wednesday, higher than USD2,027.87 on Tuesday.

Brent oil was trading at USD82.55 a barrel, higher than USD82.09.

The economic calendar for Wednesday has UK public sector net borrowing data at 0700 GMT. In the evening, minutes from the January Federal Open Market Committee meeting will be released.

There will also be eyes on speeches from some key central bank members. In the UK, Bank of England committee member Swati Dhingra will speak. In the US, Fed Governor Michelle Bowman will also do a talk.

By Elizabeth Winter, Alliance News deputy news editor

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