US Fed Tilts Towards A Rate Cut Despite The Postponement. Hkma Left The Rate Unchanged At 5.75%

At Tuesday's close, the Dow Jones Index (US30) added 0.23%, while the S&P 500 Index (US500) was down 0.34%. The NASDAQ Technology Index (US100) closed negative 0.33%. US stock indices traded mixed on Wednesday. Stock prices rose after bond yields fell, and Fed Chairman Powell said it was unlikely that the Fed's next move would be a rate hike. However, the broader market gave up its gains and declined to close on the prospect of higher long-term interest rates. The broader market also came under pressure after Wednesday's ADP employment change report for April rose more than expected, indicating a strengthening US labor market and strengthening the case for the Fed not to cut interest rates.

The US Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged. Fed Chair Powell ruled out the possibility of another rate hike, confirming that the Central Bank is leaning toward easing despite the delay. Meanwhile, policymakers acknowledged that inflation has fallen over the past year but remains high, saying there has been no progress on the Central Bank's inflation target in recent months. Investors now await the critical monthly US jobs report on Friday to gauge the labor market's strength and determine the future outlook for rates.

Starbucks (SBUX) shares fell more than 15% after the company reported an unexpected decline in comparable sales in the second quarter. Additionally, Garmin Ltd (GRMN) is up more than 13% after it reported first-quarter earnings that beat consensus estimates. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) closed down more than 8% after reporting second-quarter revenue of $5.4–6.0 billion, below the average consensus estimate of $5.72 billion. Kraft Heinz (KHC) lost more than 6% after the company reported first-quarter net sales of $6.41 billion, below the consensus forecast of $6.43 billion. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, about 81% of the S&P 500 companies already reported beat first-quarter earnings forecasts.

European equity markets did not trade yesterday, except for the British FTSE 100 (UK100), which closed negative 0.04%.

WTI crude oil prices stabilized above $79 per barrel on Thursday amid speculation that the US government may move to replenish its strategic oil reserves as it seeks to buy back oil at or below $79 per barrel. However, WTI crude prices remained near 7-week lows and are down more than 5% this week as hopes of a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas and rising US crude inventories put pressure on the oil market.

Asian markets were predominantly down yesterday. Japan's Nikkei 225 (JP225) decreased by 0.34%, China's FTSE China A50 (CHA50) and Hong Kong's Hang Seng (HK50) were not trading, while Australia's ASX 200 (AU200) was negative 1.23%.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) kept the benchmark rate unchanged at 5.75% on May 2, hours after the US Federal Reserve left its key interest rate unchanged for the sixth consecutive time. Monetary policy in the Asian financial hub is conducted in line with US policy as the local currency is pegged to the US dollar.

Australia's trade surplus in goods fell to A$5.02 billion in March 2024 from a downwardly revised $6.59 billion in the previous month, below market forecasts of $7.30 billion. It was the smallest trade surplus since November 2020, as exports grew slower than imports.

The S&P Global Malaysia Manufacturing PMI for April 2024 rose to 49.0 from March's three-month low of 48.4. It was the 20th consecutive month of contraction in factory activity as demand remained weak. Declines in output and new orders were more moderate, with overseas sales rising for the first time in a year and at the fastest pace since April 2021. Employment remained flat after three consecutive monthly declines. On the other hand, purchasing activity declined, and delivery times fell marginally.

S&P 500 (US500) 5,018.39 −17.30 ((−0.34%)

Dow Jones (US30) 37,903.29 +87.37 (+0.23%)

DAX (DE40) 17,932.17 0 (0%)

FTSE 100 (UK100) 8,121.24 −22.89 (−0.28%)

USD Index 105.63 −0.59 (−0.56%)

Important events today:

  • – Japan Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes at 02:50 (GMT+3);
  • – Australia Trade Balance (m/m) at 04:30 (GMT+3);
  • – Switzerland Consumer Price Index (m/m) at 09:30 (GMT+3);
  • – Switzerland Retail Sales (m/m) at 09:30 (GMT+3);
  • – Germany Manufacturing PMI (m/m) at 10:55 (GMT+3);
  • – Eurozone Manufacturing PMI (m/m) at 11:00 (GMT+3);
  • – US Initial Jobless Claims (w/w) at 15:30 (GMT+3);
  • – US Trade Balance (m/m) at 15:30 (GMT+3);
  • – Canada Trade Balance (m/m) at 15:30 (GMT+3);
  • – Canada BoC Gov Macklem Speaks at 15:45 (GMT+3);
  • – US Natural Gas Storage (w/w) at 17:30 (GMT+3).

More By This Author:

Analytical Overview Of The Main Currency Pairs - Thursday, May 2
Analytical Overview Of The Main Currency Pairs - Wednesday, May 1
WTI Oil Declines On Rising Inventories And Negotiations Between Israel And Hamas. Rising Unemployment In New Zealand May Force RBNZ To Start Cutting Rates Earlier

Disclosure: This article reflects a personal opinion and should not be interpreted as an investment advice, and/or offer, and/or a persistent request for carrying out financial transactions, ...

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