Sunday, 15 September, 2019

Index futures turn higher as Fed's Powell cites economic 'uncertainties'

Asia Stocks Face Muted Start; Yen Near 4-Week Low: Markets Wrap US stocks close mixed as investors look to Powell's testimony to Congress - Xinhua | English.news.cn
Jean Garcia | 12 July, 2019, 05:14

The benchmark briefly crossed above 3,000, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 27,000.

Gyrations in equities earlier in the session showed how sensitive the market remains to trade-related developments.

He also contrasted the Fed's "baseline outlook" of continued U.S. growth against a considerable set of risks - including persistently weak inflation, slower growth in other major economies, and a downturn in business investment driven by uncertainty over the ongoing trade war with China and other countries.

The cooling in US rate fever has seen bonds give back just a little of their huge rally, with yields on two-year Treasuries US2YT=TWEB rising to 1.917% from the recent trough of 1.696%.

A worrying lack of inflation globally is one reason investors are counting on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to sound suitably dovish when he testifies to Congress on Wednesday.

Traders have rushed to cut back Fed fee lower expectations following unexpectedly robust good points in U.S.jobs for June, with USA inventory markets falling for a second straight day.

Powell told the US House Financial Services Committee that "uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the US economic outlook". -China trade war. In midmorning trading, the dollar index slid 0.3% to 97.155. Shares rallied across most of Asia, with the South Korean and Hong Kong markets outperforming and stocks in China edging higher. The pound halted a drop to a two-year low as data showed the United Kingdom economy rebounded in May.

A strong June US jobs report released earlier this month had curbed market expectations that the Fed could lower rates by 50 basis points (bps), and the markets had viewed a 25 bps cut as a more likely option.

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"What the market will be looking for is whether the language is as dovish as previously (at last policy meeting)", said Christy Tan, head of the market strategy for Asia at National Australia Bank.

The 3% tax on the French revenue of large internet groups could yield 500 million euros and would target around 30 companies - mostly USA firms such as Google, Amazon and Facebook but also some Chinese and European ones.

The blue-chip index ended a volatile session down 0.1%, while the midcap index recorded a 0.3% fall as a profit warning from PageGroup hit the recruitment sector. The S&P 500 Index dropped 0.5% Monday.

MSCI's broadest index of world stocks was little changed after three days of losses. The euro climbed 0.1 per cent to US$1.1259.The British pound climbed 0.3 per cent to US$1.254.

The dollar also firmed to 108.96 yen, while the euro faded to $1.1204 having been as high as $1.1412 just a couple of weeks ago. The dollar strengthened to its highest since mid-June and Treasuries slipped. Britain's 10-year yield jumped eight basis points to 0.836 per cent, the largest surge in 14 weeks.

Brent crude futures fell 0.4 percent to $63.87 a barrel.

Gold fell 0.3 per cent to $US1,393.68 per ounce as the dollar gained.

-With assistance from Ruth Carson, Chester Yung, Cormac Mullen, Gregor Stuart Hunter and Laura Curtis.

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