Investor focus is shifting to the minutes from the latest meeting of the Federal Reserve
Wall Street stocks finished marginally lower overnight following the recent winning streak that took major indexes to fresh all-time highs. The International Monetary Fund said it expects the world economy to expand 6% in 2021, up from the 5.5% it had forecast in January. The S&P 500 slipped just 0.10%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.29%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slipped just 0.05%.
Today in Asia, equities were mixed, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan rising 0.3%. Trading in Toshiba Corp.’s shares was halted after the conglomerate confirmed it had received a preliminary acquisition proposal. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei rose 0.12% and the Shanghai Composite index shed 0.10%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.61% while South Korea’s Kospi added 0.33%.
European markets opened flat, mirroring the more tepid mood seen in US futures, with UK stocks leading the charge (+0.4%) due to a weaker pound. The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flat-line in early trade. Investor focus is now shifting to the minutes from the latest meeting of the Federal Reserve. The minutes are expected to confirm that the central bank is not considering starting normalization sooner than it pledged to do so.
Elsewhere, the dollar continues to retreat as US Treasury yields keep retreating On Wednesday. EURUSD managed to overcome the 20-DMA and was last seen flirting with the 20-DMA around 1.1880. A decisive break above this moving average would push the common currency above the 1.1900 figure. However, the pair may face resistance at the current levels and give up recent gains as the greenback remains within a broader bullish trend and could attract buyers again following a local downside correction.