Asian shares mainly rise but European equities and U.S. stock futures fall as investors await testimony from Fed Chair Janet Yellen in the Senate later today. A main focus is on whether recent soft economic data in the U.S., which has been attributed to the severe winter weather, has had any affect on the Fed's tapering timetable.
"The markets are in this holding pattern again, waiting for some new developments," says asset manager Stephen Halmarick. "The base case is still that the global economy grows more strongly this year than it did last year but there’s certainly some risk around that."
Investors are also keeping an eye on rising tensions in Ukraine, where armed pro-Russian gunmen have seized government buildings.
Japan -0.3%, Hong Kong +1.7%, China +0.3%, India +0.65%.
Euro Stoxx 50 -1.2%, London -0.7%, Paris -0.8%, Frankfurt -1.1%, Milan -1%, Madrid -1.3%.
U.S. stock futures: Dow -0.3%. S&P -0.3%. Nasdaq -0.1%