US stocks slip ahead of Fed decision
Fed expected to keep rates unchanged
US stock market ended mostly lower on Tuesday as weak data signaled slowing pace of US economic expansion. The S&P 500 slipped 0.2% to 2640. Dow Jones however rose 0.2% to 24579.96 led by Pfizer and 3M. The Nasdaq dropped 0.8% to 7028.29. The dollar weakening reversed ahead of Federal Reserve rate decision today despite S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index showing home prices in November grew at the slowest pace in four years. The live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, rose less than 0.1% to 95.778 but is lower currently. Futures on US stock indexes indicate higher openings today.
FTSE 100 outperforms as UK rules out hard Brexit
European stocks resumed advancing on Tuesday on positive earnings reports. The EUR/USD continued climbing as GBP/USD slide persisted as UK parliament rejected amendment to extend the Brexit timeline if no new agreement was reached by late February as Prime minister May proposed reopening Brexit deal with EU. Both pairs are higher currently. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.8%. The German DAX 30 added 0.1% to 11218.83, France’s CAC 40 gained 0.8% and UK’s FTSE 100 rallied 1.3% to 6833.93.
Shanghai Composite falls ahead of US-China trade talks
Asian stock indices are mixed as US and Chinese officials begin two days of trade talks in Washington today. Nikkei fell 0.5% to 20556.54 while yen resumed its slide against the dollar. Chinese stocks are mixed after US Justice Department charged Chinese tech giant Huawei with stealing technology and violating sanction on Iran: the Shanghai Composite Index is down 0.7% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is 0.2% higher. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index gained 0.2% despite the Australian dollar climb against the greenback.
Brent edges up
Brent futures prices are extending gains today. Prices ended higher yesterday after US sanctions on Venezuela‘s state oil company PdVSA. The American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday report indicated US crude inventories rose by 2.1 million barrels last week while gasoline inventories rose. March Brent rose 2.3% to $61.32 a barrel on Tuesday. Today at 16:30 CET the Energy Information Administration will release US Crude Oil Inventories.
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