Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Wall Street to open higher ahead of PMI data; FOMC speeches in focus
US equities were pointing to a higher open on Tuesday as market participants returned from a long weekend and looked ahead fresh economic data and earnings reports.
Wall Street main three indexes reached new all-time highs last Friday amid low activity volumes and as traders turned their focus into France’s upcoming presidential election.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average: +0.02 percent / 20,624.05 points
- Standard & Poor’s 500: +0.17 percent / 2,351.16 points
- Nasdaq Composite: +0.41 percent / 5,838.58 points
Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari is scheduled at 13:50 GMT, while Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker will speak at 17:00 GMT. Last but not least, San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams coming at 20:30 GMT.
Market players are watching carefully all speeches from Fed representatives as chances for a March interest rate hike have suddenly spiked following last week’s Fed Chair Janet Yellen remarks before the US Congress. Yellen said the regulator will increase rates in the near future.
In the same line, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on Monday that starting to raise benchmark rates at this stage would be more “comfortable” than waiting too long.
"So I'm comfortable that inflation is near its goal and moving toward its goal... I'd be comfortable with an increase in the funds rate at this point, if the economy keeps going the way it's going."
In Europe, markets were mainly higher on Tuesday amid upbeat economic data from Germany and the Eurozone. German manufacturing and services PMI for February came in better-than-expected at 57.0 and 54.4 points against expectations of 56.0 and 53.6 respectively. Similar indexes for the Eurozone were also above forecast at 55.5 and 55.6 points. Market players also monitored BOE Governor Mark Carney address to the Treasury Committee.
Asia equities closed mixed on Tuesday, with investors still speculating on President Donald Trump economic promises, including a pending tax reform due to be announced rather soon.
The Japanese Nikkei 225 soared 0.68 percent to end at 19,381.44 points, as exporters continued to benefit from a weak currency. The yen extended losses against the US dollar, trading near the 113.40 mark. A weaker yen makes local products more competitive abroad.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index eased 0.64 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite edged up by 0.41 percent to trade at 3,253.24 points by the end of the session.
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