A Fed official expressed confidence that policy is currently well positioned to bring inflation back to 2%
US stocks advanced on Tuesday following a solid report on consumer confidence and growing hopes that the Federal Reserve may not need to raise interest rates further. Fed Governor Christopher Waller expressed confidence that policy is currently well positioned to bring inflation back to 2%. Meanwhile, the CB consumer confidence index rose to 102 this month versus a downwardly revised 99.1 from October. The Dow Jones added 0.24%, the S&P 500 inched higher by 0.10%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.29%. For the week so far, the S&P 500 is down 0.1%, the Dow is up 0.1%, and the Nasdaq is up 0.2%.
In Asia, equities were mostly lower on Wednesday, led by losses in Hong Kong, as investors were cautious ahead of key economic readings from China. The Hang Seng index tumbled more than 2.2% while China’s Shanghai Composite index was down 0.56%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.29% after the data showed that the country’s inflation rate for October slowed to 4.8%, its lowest rate since January 2022. South Korea’s Kospi slipped less than 0.1% after hitting a two-month high during the previous session.
European stock index futures are heading for a mixed open today as regional markets struggle to build positive momentum in a cautious environment after Fed’s Waller maintained that inflation was still too high. Elsewhere, BoE governor Bailey said today that the central bank is not in place now to be discussing interest rate cuts. US futures are seen up slightly after yesterday’s muted showing, with sentiment tepid ahead of month-end.
Meanwhile, the US dollar keeps refreshing multi-month lows to briefly derail the 102.50 zone for the first time since August earlier in the day. The USD index has bounced marginally since then to enter positive territory on the daily charts. Still, the greenback remains depressed after mixed-to-dovish comments from Fed’s Waller. Against this backdrop, the EURUSD pair rallied to 1.1016 during the Asian session to notch fresh August highs before slipping below the 1.10 mark in recent trading. The shared currency has been rising for the third week in a row, also seeing strong gains for the month.