BRIEF-Sonoma receives U.S. Fda clearance of Loyon skin descaler
* Sonoma pharmaceuticals receives u.s. Fda clearance of Loyon skin descaler for relief of scaling associated with various dermatoses
NEW YORK May 21 U.S.-listed shares of foreign companies were little changed on Tuesday, as investors paused ahead of any clues from the U.S. Federal Reserve on the fate of its stimulus program.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was scheduled to give testimony before Congress, and the central bank will release the minutes of its last meeting on Wednesday.
As both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index hover near record highs and economic data shows a slow improvement in the U.S. economy, investors believe a tapering of the Fed's stimulus measures may be on the horizon.
Recent comments by Fed officials, including Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, also fueled the belief a change by the Fed may be coming.
The BNY Mellon index of leading American depositary receipts edged up 0.05 percent, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 0.2 percent.
The BNY Mellon index of leading European ADRs gained 0.17 percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares closed up 0.09 percent.
Shares of French drugmaker Sanofi traded in New York rose 2.1 percent to $54.97 after the company's new asthma drug being developed with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc slashed episodes by 87 percent in a mid-stage trial.
The BNY Mellon index of leading Asian ADRs slipped 0.12 percent while the BNY Mellon index of leading Latin American ADRs dipped 0.15 percent.
* Banks look at cutting staff in London (Adds graphic, finance minister comments)