Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Markets flatten ahead of much-anticipated Fed policy statement

LONDON -- Markets were fairly flat-footed ahead of a keenly awaited policy statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The central bank wraps up a two-day policy meeting later Wednesday and investors are looking to see if policymakers are moving towards any change in its monetary policy stance. The Fed's strategy of super-low interest rates and easy money over the past few years has been designed to shore up the U.S. economy. It has also helped drive sentiment in the markets.

Fears that the Fed might reduce the amount of financial assets it buys have been behind the recent volatility - investors have become accustomed to seeing much of the money generated by the policy ending up in financial markets.

 The uncertainty was caused by comments made by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke in May and investors will be hoping for a clearer picture at the end of this month's meeting on Wednesday. Though no change is expected on Wednesday, investors will be looking for a clearer line in the accompanying Fed statement and in Bernanke's post-meeting press conference.

"If Bernanke hints at tapering in the coming months again today, we could see further selling in the weeks and months ahead," said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Alpari.

Ahead of the statement, stocks were solid if unspectacular as fears of an imminent change have been reined in over recent days. U.S. economic data has not been as strong as when Bernanke made his comments of a possible change in May.

Europe slips

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was flat at 6,371 while Germany's DAX rose 0.4 percent to 8,260. Th

Nikkei extends recent gains

In Asia, trading was mixed. While, the Nikkei 225 stock average rose 1.8 percent to 13,245.22, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 1.1 percent to 20,986.89, and South Korea's KOSPI index shed 0.7 percent to 1,888.31.

Read more:

No comments:

Post a Comment