World stocks inched lower on Wednesday after China's sovereign credit rating was downgraded and as investors eyed a pause in Wall Street's four-day winning streak, the longest in over three months. The dollar and bond yields were steady, with investors growing gradually more confident that the Federal Reserve will raise U.S. interest rates next month, while oil rose for a sixth straight day in anticipation of an OPEC-led output cut on Wednesday that may be extended to the first quarter of 2018. The biggest loser among major currencies was the Australian dollar, which is often regarded as a proxy for China due to the country's status as a major trading partner.
European stocks were mixed Wednesday although fading equity sentiment following a rare credit downgrade for China and the developing security situation in the U.K. kept investors in a caution mood.
Blue-chip stocks in the U.K. slipped Wednesday, with pressure on mining shares setting up to pull the market lower for a second straight session.