NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar index was flat on Wednesday while the pound bounced back from a ‘no-deal Brexit’ slump, with oil up for a fifth day and stocks little changed ahead of a highly anticipated statement from the U.S. central bank.
FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 29, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
After having started under a cloud of Twitter threats, Sino-U.S. trade talks concluded in Shanghai on Wednesday and the meeting was “constructive” according to both parties. Talks will continue in Washington in September.
With a rate cut in the cards ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, the focus is on whether the Fed will leave the door open for further easing. A statement is due at 1800 UTC.
On Wall Street, expectations for Fed easing have helped lift equities this month, with the S&P 500 .SPX just off a lifetime high hit on Friday. Futures markets fully priced a 25 basis points rate cut which would be the first cut in more than a decade. Futures priced a 1-in-5 chance of a 0.5% cut.
“The language about further rate cuts will not likely be very committal, so the markets might be a bit disappointed,” said John Vail, chief global strategist at Nikko Asset Management.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated his call for the Fed to make a large interest rate cut, saying he was disappointed in the U.S. central bank and that it had put him at a disadvantage by not acting sooner.
A majority of market participants say that independence from the government is a key feature of central banks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 4.82 points, or 0.02 percent, to 27,193.2, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.9 points, or 0.03 percent, to 3,012.28 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 11.53 points, or 0.14 percent, to 8,285.15.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.30 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS shed 0.07 percent.
Emerging market stocks lost 0.47 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS closed 0.64 percent lower, while Japan’s Nikkei .N225 lost 0.86 percent.
In currencies, the pound bounced sharply versus the dollar and euro after four days of falls that took sterling to the lowest in more than two and a half years.
“We are just seeing some stabilization after very bad four days,” said Lee Hardman, FX strategist at MUFG. “It doesn’t change the bigger picture and the pound will continue to weaken but clearly it won’t be a one-way street,” Hardman added.
Sterling GBP= was last trading at $1.2242, up 0.77 percent on the day. It is on track for its weakest monthly performance against the dollar since October 2016.
The dollar index .DXY rose 0.01 percent, with the euro EUR= down 0.16 percent to $1.1135.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.05 percent versus the greenback at 108.57 per dollar.
In commodities, crude oil futures rose for the fifth straight day, buoyed by a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. inventories. [O/R]
U.S. crude CLc1 rose 0.24 percent to $58.19 per barrel and Brent LCOc1 was last at $64.92, up 0.45 percent on the day.
The yields on U.S. government debt were weighed down by Fed cut expectations and fell further as the yields on German 10-year Bunds touched record lows.
Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last rose 8/32 in price to yield 2.0352 percent, from 2.061 percent late on Tuesday.
Spot gold XAU= dropped 0.2 percent to $1,428.24 an ounce. Copper CMCU3 lost 0.31 percent to $5,929.50 a tonne.
(GRAPHIC – Trade tension hits stocks: tmsnrt.rs/2JNPb3M)
(GRAPHIC – Euro zone inflation and GDP: tmsnrt.rs/2ypndmT)
(GRAPHIC – Global assets in 2019: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl)
(GRAPHIC – Global currencies vs. dollar: tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh)
(GRAPHIC – Emerging markets in 2019: tmsnrt.rs/2ihRugV)
Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Additional reporting by Karin Strohecker and Olga Cotaga in London; Editing by Nick Zieminski