Investors took a cautious approach ahead of the Federal Reserve decision, and there is also a growing worry as the trade talks between China and the US negotiators are at odds.
In the markets today:
- Stocks: The Asian stocks took a plunge and the MSCI, Asia-Pacific broadest index fell by 0.2%. The South Korean Kospi also had a major drop and slid down by 0.9% and was mainly due to Samsung Electronics saying that the year ahead will be challenging for them. Hang Seng fell by 0.2%, and the S&P 500 index was flat, but the futures fell by 0.1%. The Japanese Topix index fell by 0.2%, and the others were flat. The S&P 200 Index in Australia was down by 0.2%.
- Currencies: The Pound remained unchanged as the country awaits the for the draft from UK PM Theresa May’s request for extending the deadline for Brexit deal. It was at $1.3258 a fall of 0.1%. The Euro was flat and was at $1.1347 after the news of the investor confidence for the fifth consecutive month rose. The offshore yuan ended at 6.7161 for a dollar even as there was news that the Chinese officials did not agree to all the demands of the Americans and the yen fell by 0.2% to end at 111.62 for a dollar. The Australian dollar was also reduced as there was speculation that there will be rate cuts by its central bank due to slump in property and also business confidence.
- Bonds: The US long-term treasury yields were steady at 2.61% while the 2-year yields were below the Fed policy rates. The Australian 10-year treasury yields were at 1.93%.
- Commodities: The oil prices rallied, and there was a decrease in iron ore prices as there was news that a mine in Brazil will be reopened shortly. The WTI crude was at $58.86 for a barrel, a fall of 0.3%. Gold was at $1,305.24 for an ounce a reduction of 0.1%.
The investors are waiting for the policy decisions and the following statements by the US Federal Reserve. The statement will also release the interest rates projected for the coming few months. There is also great anxiety as to how long the policymakers will remain optimistic about the economy and pause the interest rate hikes. The US stocks have already fallen as there is concern that the talks with China are not going as anticipated; it is to be seen how they fare once the policymakers release their action plan.