Traders will wait to hear from the Fed later today as they announce their minutes meeting. The crisis in Spain calms down for now after the Catalan leader Puigdemont did not declare unilateral independence. Japan’s stocks hit 21-years high on global optimism for growth and as geopolitical concerns fade out. Meanwhile, the USD remains under pressure amid a stronger Euro. Here are the big things to know for today’s trading.
The Federal Reserve will release minutes of its most recent policy meeting on Wednesday at 06:00 PM GMT.
The U.S. central bank left interest rates unchanged at its meeting in September and signaled it still intended to raise rates in December, despite the sluggish inflation outlook. The Fed also announced that it would start rolling back its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in October.
Interest rate futures are pricing in around a 90% chance of a December Fed rate. But with the rate hike almost fully priced in analysts said fresh catalysts could be required for the dollar to resume its move higher.
The euro rose to 2-week highs against the dollar and bank stocks led a rebound in Spanish markets amid a relief rally after Catalonia stopped short of declaring immediate independence from Madrid.
Catalonia’s leader Carles Puigdemont on Tuesday backed away from a declaration of independence from Spain that would take immediate effect, opening the door to negotiations with Madrid.
The IBEX jumped around 1.5% in early trade and shares in Banco de Sabadell and Caixabank rose 3.2% and 3.5% respectively before pulling back slightly.
Last week both banks moved their headquarters out of Catalonia amid fears that a formal declaration of independence could leave them headquartered outside the EU. The de-escalation of tensions also saw the yield on Spanish 10-year bonds ease. Lower yields reflect higher prices.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index closed at its highest level since December 1996 on Wednesday as optimism over the global economy continued to build and geopolitical worries eased.
The index, which has risen 9% so far this year, posted a gain of 57 points or almost 0.3%, shrugging off a scandal enveloping Japan’s third-biggest steel maker, Kobe Steel.
The gains came after Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a fresh record high on Tuesday.
The dollar was trading near 2-week lows against a basket of the other major currencies, pressured lower by the stronger euro and uncertainty over President Donald Trump’s tax plan.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was at 93.08 by 09:50 GMT, after falling as low as 92.94 overnight, the lowest level since September 29.
Trump’s war of words with Republican Senator Bob Corker has raised concerns that his push for a tax-code overhaul could stall.