GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks, bonds little changed ahead of US Fed decision

miércoles 19 de marzo de 2014 11:36 GYT

* U.S. Fed widely expected to pare bond purchases by $10 bln

* Analysts see Fed's Yellen tweaking forward guidance on rates

* Dollar rises against yen and euro (Adds quote, recasts lead; dateline previously LONDON)

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, March 19 (Reuters) - The world's major stock and bond markets were little changed on Wednesday as investors awaited comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at the conclusion of the Fed's two-day policy meeting.

The U.S. central bank is expected to trim its bond-buying stimulus by $10 billion a month for a third time in a row on Wednesday, as well as update its guidance on when interest rates will eventually rise. The Fed statement is due at 2 p.m. (1600 GMT) followed by a press conference by Yellen at 2:30 p.m.

A policy decision to steadily scale back stimulus, while likely noting the economy's recent weakness is not solely down to harsh winter weather, should soothe any concerns investors might have had surrounding Yellen's first policy-setting meeting as the Fed chief.

The shift in focus to the Fed and away from geopolitical concerns over Russia and Ukraine put a floor under stocks, which had opened lower following a strong start to the week.

"The Fed is taking control of everyone's attention today," said Mike Cullinane, head of Treasuries trading at D.A. Davidson in St. Petersburg, Florida. "It's pretty assured they will continue to taper, probably by another $10 billion."   Continuación...