16.08 - Fed minutes policy on focus, Stocks look higher
- by Roger Gain
Market players will focus on the Fed meeting later on today for policy updates.
Here are 4 tips for today's trading. This will help you decide where you should invest and what to look for:
The Federal Reserve will release minutes of its most recent policy meeting on Wednesday at 18:00 GMT.
The central bank also noted weakness in U.S. inflation more explicitly than before. The recognition of soft inflation added to expectations that the Fed's plan to raise interest rates a third time this year might be delayed.
Global stocks were mostly higher as investors focused generally positive data points and an increase in metal prices drove mining stocks higher.
U.S. futures pointed to a higher open as investors waited for clues on Fed policy with the minutes from its most recent meeting.
Elsewhere, European shares were boosted by strong gains in miners as euro zone growth in the second quarter was unexpectedly revised higher.
Earlier, Asian equities ended mixed with Japan off 0.1% and Shanghai down around 0.2%, but the Hang Seng and the S&P/ASX 200 closed with gains of 0.9% and 0.5%, respectfully.
Meanwhile, China reclaimed the top position as the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt after increasing holdings for a fifth straight month to reach $1.147 trillion in Treasuries in June.
The world’s second largest economy topped Japan who had been in the lead since last October. Together, the two Asian countries account for more than a third of foreign ownership of U.S. Treasuries.
European Central Bank president Mario Draghi will not deliver a new policy message at the U.S. Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole economic symposium, according to sources cited Wednesday by Reuters.
Instead, Draghi will focus on the theme of the symposium, fostering a dynamic global economy, in order to avoid entering policy discussion ahead of the ECB in September.
Market speculation had been that Draghi could use the meeting to signal plans for an eventual reduction, or tapering, of the ECB’s asset purchase program.
Oil prices edged higher on Wednesday, bouncing off their lowest levels in three weeks amid speculation weekly supply data due later in the session will show another big drop in U.S. crude inventories.
After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories fell by 9.16 million barrels in the week ended August 11, beating expectations for a drop of just 0.47 million barrels.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies report at 14:30 GMT. Analysts expect crude oil inventories dropped by around 3.0 million barrels at the end of last week. If confirmed, it would mark a seventh weekly decline in a row.