Powell says Fed believes rates can go up gradually

03 March, 2018, 06:30 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • NASDAQ 100 daily chart

Powell, whose comments Tuesday before a House panel helped send USA stocks lower, (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-point-to-a-loss-as-jitters-grow-ahead-of-powell-testimony-2018-02-27) is due to testify to the Senate Banking Committee at 10 a.m.

Stocks fell sharply on the announcement. "But this is exactly what candidate Trump said he would do: He said he would be very protectionist and America First".

"At this point, we have 4.1 percent unemployment". It's the third straight day where the index has lost at least 1 percent. The Australian dollar dropped after business investment unexpectedly fell in the final three months of a year ago.

Gold closed down 1.1 percent and fell to as low as $1,313.26 in the previous session, the lowest since February 9.

A White House official said Trump will announce tariffs at a meeting Thursday. Apple, the most valuable USA company, got 63 percent of its sales from outside the United States in its latest fiscal year. The Federal Reserve earlier praised the benefits of trade, while the European Union has said it could respond in kind to any levies. He vowed that "the European Union will react firmly and commensurately to defend our interests". Meanwhile, a report on US manufacturing activity unexpectedly rose to a near-14 year high, with the prices-paid component coming in at the highest since May 2011. But shares of companies that use lots of steel fell, as did exporters.

Oil fell more than 1 percent, hitting two-week lows on pressure from a strong dollar and worries that surging US crude output might thwart efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to drain global supply.

The levies could spark an expensive trade war and raise the cost of the two metals for automakers and companies such as Caterpillar. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Shares in L Brands Inc.(LB) tumbled 10% after the Victoria's Secret parent late Wednesday gave a quarterly outlook that appeared to disappoint Wall Street (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/victoria-secrets-l-brands-stock-tanks-on-expectations-of-lower-q1-profit-2018-02-28).

US stock index futures pointed to a third consecutive session of falls for Wall Street on Thursday, with sentiment weighed down by nerves ahead of Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell's second round of congressional testimony. He is scheduled to testify on the same topic before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

There are still lingering concerns over the dollar's strength, as some market watchers say that the greenback can falter again.

Earlier in the week, Powell's testimony helped send Treasury yields jumping and stocks tumbling when he said that he's feeling more optimistic about the economy. Investors have anxious that the USA central bank will accelerate the pace of its interest rate increases this year. "Similar numbers of participants see upside risk to the outlook and downside risks on inflation", analysts from Barclays wrote in a recent note.

The AUD/USD pair slid 0.43 percent to 0.7728.

Dental products supplier Patterson Companies plunged 23 percent in the first few minutes of trading Thursday after issuing weak quarterly results. Such action, and the risk of retaliation by trading partners, could cloud the US economic outlook and derail the global recovery now benefiting the United States. Brent crude, the global standard, rose 17 cents to $64.00 a barrel.

The Canadian dollar inched up 0.04 cents to 77.95 cents U.S. The euro fell to $1.2170 from $1.2203, and the British pound slipped to $1.3743 from $1.3771.

France's CAC 40 fell 1.1 percent and Germany's DAX was down 2 percent. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading regional shares lost 1.26 percent to close at 1,468.47. The USD/CNY exchanged hands at 6.3408, 0.17 percent higher.


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