2.45pm Markets Update

Updated: Tuesday 16 September 2014 15.13

Wall Street stocks opened lower today following a weak US inflation report and ahead of the eagerly anticipated Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting and the Scottish independence vote.

Investors are cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting, which concludes tomorrow, while they also remain edgy over Thursday's vote in Scotland, which has raised worries that a Scottish secession from Britain would harm the UK economy.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones had dropped 32 points (0.19%) to stand at 16,999, while the broad-based S&P 500 shed three points (0.15%) to trade at 1,981 and the the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite index fell 13 points (0.28%) to 4,506.

Those US Fed and Scottish worries continued to overshadow recent enthusiasm about mergers and acquisition activity in Europe in the past few days. London's FTSE index was down 29 points (0.4%) to stand at 6,775 by 2.45pm, while the Paris CAC fell 30 points (0.7%) to 4,398 and the Frankfurt DAX lost 46 points (0.5%) to trade at 9,613.

Dublin's ISEQ index was also weaker this afternoon, dropping by 33 points (0.67%) to stand at 4,826. Shares in Smurfit Kappa were down 1.8% to €17.74, while CRH fell 1.65% to €18.85, Ryanair dipped almost 1% to €7.38 and IFG Group dropped 2.7% to trade at €1.59.

Earlier in Asian trade, Tokyo's Nikkei index fell 37 points (0.23%) to close at 15,912 as weaker than expected US and Chinese factory output dented sentiment ahead of a key Federal Reserve policy meeting. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong ended 221 points (0.9%) to finish at 24,136.