Global stocks, dollar rise as investors turn eyes to Fed

Thursday, 21 Sep, 2017

The dollar added 0.2 against its Japanese counterpart to 111.81, its highest since late July.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 edged down by around 0.21 percent shortly after the opening bell, with nearly all sectors and major bourses in negative territory.

The Australian dollar was up around half a percent at $0.8047 after comments overnight from Australia's central bank outlined the constructive growth conditions for its economy.

Investors are now preparing for potentially more hawkish statements from the Federal Reserve after its two-day policy meeting ends on Wednesday, especially after the Bank of England surprised investors last week with talk of a possible rate hike.

Economists and investors are divided over the likely outcome as well, with different analyses of the market price for federal funds futures contracts putting the likelihood of a rate hike in December as low as 43 percent and as high as 56 percent.

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However, Carney also said that interest rates are likely to rise "over the coming months", reiterating what was said at the BoE's most recent policy meeting and had already pushed the pound broadly higher.

Pointing to the recent face-off with North Korea and the president's handling of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, McKenna said Trump had come through them positively, which could hold him in good stead in dealing with future issues such as tax reform. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks was up 5 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,445. North Korea has advanced its nuclear program and conducted missile tests despite global condemnation led by the U.S. On Sunday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that the prepared to use military force if diplomatic efforts fail to end the nuclear standoff with North Korea. "We are very early on in the process but, so far, financial markets have largely remained unmoved and unencumbered by the prospect of falling, as opposed to endless, liquidity".

Gold traders and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg turned bearish for the first time in 13 weeks as dollar recovers and USA stocks reached record highs. The week will also bring with it housing starts figures on Tuesday, existing home sales on Wednesday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency's house price index on Thursday and the PMI composite flash on Friday. On the Nasdaq, 1,851 issues rose and 902 fell.

US crude futures were down 1 cent at $49.90 per barrel, within sight of Thursday's almost four-month high of $50.50. At their last meeting in July, Fed officials unanimously made a decision to keep the Fed's key benchmark interest rate unchanged.

Brent crude futures were up 0.4 percent at $55.37 a barrel and US crude rose 0.75 percent to $49.85 a barrel. The euro was at $1.1998-2002, up from $1.1993-1993, and at ¥133.66-66, down from ¥133.97-98.