Dollar close to 2015 lows as conflicted Fed prepares policy update

21 September 2017, 12:15 | Andres Norman

Fed balance sheet BIMore

Fed balance sheet BI

Investors see a 56% chance the Fed will raise rates in December, according to CME Group.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 45.56 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,376.91, the S&P 500 gained 3.12 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,506.99 and the Nasdaq Composite added 7.22 points, or 0.11 percent, to 6,461.86.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2%.

Should the Federal Reserve's September policy statement reveal the beginning of the normalization process and a reaffirmation of the desire to raise rates by the end of the year (in say, December), perhaps market participants will be forced to confront the divergence between what the Fed is saying it wants to do and the much more dovish interpretation that the market now holds.

Later Wednesday, the USA central bank was widely expected to leave interest rates on hold, but it was also likely to announce plans to trim its $4.2 trillion in bond holdings. "Some US dollar recovery would be in line with that".

Tuesday marks the start of the U.S. central bank's two-day meeting.

The Fed is expected to hold interest rates steady, with investors looking for clues on its anticipated pace of further tightening later this year and next. Trump suggested that the "Rocket man" in North Korea was on a path to suicide and finished it off by suggesting the U.S. will destroy the dictator's country if it needs to.

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"There's one thing about (Fed Chair) Janet Yellen: She does not surprise markets, so if she wants a rate hike by the end of December, she will let the market know".

President Trump speaking in front of the United Nations in NY delivered his maiden speech and took the opportunity to threaten North Korea. Gold hit a 2-1/2 week low, with spot gold XAU= down 0.6 percent at $1,311.51 an ounce. "We are very early on in the process but, so far, financial markets have largely remained unmoved and unencumbered by the prospect of falling, as opposed to endless, liquidity".

USA crude oil prices CLc1 edged up 2 cents to settle at $49.91 a barrel, after hovering near multimonth highs.

But economists and Fed officials say the storms will not affect the underlying trend in growth, which has been steady at around two percent in recent years, and activity should rebound later in the year due to reconstruction efforts. Building permits rose by 5.7% to a rate of 1.3 million, slightly higher than an expected 1.22 million.

HURRICANE IMPACT: The National Association of Realtors said that sales of previously occupied USA homes fell 1.7 percent in August.

Regarding commodities, oil prices were in an uptrend during the Asian trading, with WTI crude rising by 0.52% to $50.15 per barrel and Brent being 0.13% higher at $55.69. The euro was at $1.1998-2002, up from $1.1993-1993, and at ¥133.66-66, down from ¥133.97-98.



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