Fed seen holding policy steady
US equities rallied on Wednesday while elections resulted in divided Congress as Democrats took control of the House and Republicans strengthened their control of the Senate. The S&P 500 rallied 2.1% to 2813. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 2.1% to 26180. Nasdaq composite index jumped 2.6% to 7570.75. The dollar weakening endured ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting conclusion today. The live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, slid 0.1% to 96.146 and is lower currently. Futures on stock indices indicate mixed openings today.
Treasury yields were little changed. The Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates unchanged and signal no change in its policy of gradual rate hikes despite the recent market volatility. This is the last Fed meeting without a formal press conference with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, the policy statement is due at 21:00 CET.
DAX 30 opens higher than other European indices
European stocks ended solidly higher on Wednesday led by bank shares. Both the GBP/USD and EUR/USD extended gains but are lower currently. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 1.1%. Germany’s DAX 30 gained 0.8% to 11579.10. France’s CAC 40outperformed rallying 1.2% and UK’s FTSE 100 added 1.1% to 7117.28. Indices opened 0.2% - 0.3% higher today.
Nikkei leads Asian indices advances
Asian stock indices are mostly higher tracking Wall Street gains overnight. Nikkei rose 1.8% to 22486.92 as yen slide against the dollar continued. China’s stocks however are lower despite report of strong China exports: the Shanghai Composite Index is down 0.2% whike Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 0.2% higher. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index however added another 0.5% while the Australian dollar climb against the greenback persists.
Brent up despite US inventories build
Brent futures prices are gaining today. Prices fell yesterday as the Energy Information Administration reported that US crude stockpile rose 5.8 million barrels last week, the seventh straight weekly build. Prices fell: January Brent crude lost 0.1% to $72.07 a barrel on Wednesday.
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