US Federal Reserve holds interest rates steady, vows 'patience'

Wall Street climbs on Apple, Boeing results; Fed decision eyed

Wall Street climbs on Apple, Boeing results; Fed decision eyed

Fed vote in favor of policy was unanimous.

"But we would place far more emphasis on our forecast for a sharp slowdown in economic growth further ahead, which we expect will force the Fed to cut rates by 75bp in 2020", he said in a report after Powell's press conference.

The Fed kept interest rates unchanged and definitively signalled a cautious approach to further interest rate hikes, with Fed chairman Jerome Powell saying "the case for raising rates has weakened somewhat". "Buy risk assets", Minerd said.

"The back-drop of slowing economic growth on a global basis is the 800 trillion gorilla in the room", Pascualy said.

Dow futures have risen 80 points, or 0.3%, while S&P 500 futures have advanced 0.3%, and Nasdaq Composite futures have gained 0.8%.

After the release of the Fed's statement, USA stocks added to gains, with the S&P 500 index ending the day about 1.5 percent higher, while the dollar and short-term yields fell as investors gauged an even lower probability of additional rate hikes any time soon. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading shares in Europe closed up 0.41 percent.

It may also raise questions about whether the Fed's shifting stance - until recently Powell and other officials said monetary policy was unnecessarily loose - is a response to pressure from volatile financial markets or President Donald Trump.

Upbeat results from Boeing and Apple late on Tuesday provided investors early relief.

Boeing Co gained 6.25 per cent after the world's largest plane-maker forecast full-year profit and cash flow above analysts' estimates amid a boom in air travel and speedier 737 production. Boeing also indicated it had overcome supplier delays that snarled 737 production past year.

Huawei exec makes court appearance after U.S. extradition request
Department of Justice unveiled a 13-count indictment charging Meng and Huawei with conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran . US security experts are anxious the gear could be used by China's government for espionage, a concern Huawei calls unfounded.

The results were better than feared after Apple earlier this month warned of a hit to revenues from a slowing Chinese economy.

Oil prices rose, paring gains of more than 1 percent, as the potential for supply disruptions following USA sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry lifted prices.

Sterling, which is grappling with troubles of its own on uncertainty over a deal to avoid a chaotic British exit from the European Union, was up 0.1 percent at $1.3131.

The exporter-heavy FTSE 100 in London rose 1.45 percent as its components often are boosted by a weaker pound because its multinational companies earn a large portion of their revenue overseas in foreign currency.

The dollar index, a gauge of its value versus six major peers, fell around 0.1 percent to a three-week low of 95.26, having already fallen 0.43 percent overnight. Against the yen, the dollar fell 0.33 percent to 109.02.

Elsewhere, the New Zealand dollar added 0.3 percent to $0.6909, its highest level since December 5.

The Nasdaq Composite surged 2.2 per cent to 7,183.08.

A stronger focus on risks to the global outlook, the Fed's emphasis on tighter financial conditions and Powell's comments pushed two- and five-year Treasury yields to the lowest since mid-January.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 92 cents to settle at $54.23, while worldwide Brent crude futures rose 33 cents to settle at $61.65 per barrel.

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