Powell sends strong signal of possible rate cut

With hopes for a big interest rate cut fading focus is on Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell's congressional testimony this week

With hopes for a big interest rate cut fading focus is on Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell's congressional testimony this week

Oil prices were supported by Middle East tensions and news that US stockpiles fell for a fourth week in a row, easing concerns about oversupply.

Many traders still expect the Fed will cut its benchmark rate by a quarter percentage point at the end of the month, but fewer are now expecting a half-point reduction. The Dow was up 0.7%, or 188 points, marking its first higher open in four days. The S&P and Nasdaq futures were also lower. "Signaling more interest rate cuts at this point may put the central bank's independence in jeopardy".

AngioDynamics and MSC Industrial Direct will report their latest quarterly earnings before the bell.

Oil prices surged on Wednesday after reports appeared that the us crude stockpiles fell for a fourth consecutive week. The Energy Information Administration's weekly report on petroleum inventories in the U.S.is schedule for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The U.S. Federal Reserve over the course of its 105-year history has changed monetary policy in reaction to property crashes, war, financial bubbles and policymakers' gut instincts about where the economy was heading. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping declared a truce last month in what had threatened to become an escalating U.S.

Powell's two-day monetary policy testimony to Congress is set to begin at 1400 GMT, and investors see a worrying lack of inflation globally as a reason for him to sound suitably dovish.

In prepared remarks to a congressional committee, Powell contrasted the Fed's "baseline outlook" of continued USA growth against a considerable set of risks - including persistently weak inflation, slower growth in other major economies, and a downturn in business investment driven by uncertainty over just how long the Trump administration's trade war with China and other countries will last and how intense it will become. It had slipped to 96% earlier Wednesday, after sitting at 100% for week.

Hamilton vows to fight to keep British GP at Silverstone
While the race at Silverstone attracts 350,000 spectators over the weekend, the staging fee was making the event untenable. The championship leader told Sky Sports F1 when asked about Silverstone: "The most fun rollercoaster ride of the year".

SoftBank Group lost 0.56 per cent to 5,182 yen.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 0.32 percent at the final hour of trading.

The Australian dollar dipped to $0.69190, the lowest in nearly three weeks after Australian consumer sentiment slummed to a two-year low, which could prompt another rate cut from the Reserve Bank of Australia and pressure the government to offer more fiscal support. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at the end of the trading day March 2, 2009 in New York City.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 edged down almost 0.2% in morning trading to 21,529.38. In June, food prices increased 8.3 percent year-on-year, higher than May's 7.7 percent.

Earlier rounds of USA tariffs on trading partners including China had been dismissed as of little macroeconomic importance, with the Fed in early May still anticipating its policy rate would remain unchanged in a range of 2.25% to 2.50% for the rest of the year.

The minutes of the Fed's previous meeting is expected on Wednesday.

Gold fell 0.3% to $1,393.68 per ounce as the dollar gained.

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