Markets Pause ahead of Key Fed Speakers

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 0.11 percent, or 21.15 points, to 19,585.95 in early trading, while the Topix index of all first-section shares was up 0.01 percent, or 0.23 points, at 1,564.92.

“In the absence of any policy clarity from the US administration, the FOMC will continue to be the dominant dollar driver,” Stephen Innes, a senior trader at OANDA, said, referring to the Federal Reserve’s rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee.

“The market is left pondering if the hawkish lean from the voting dove members is a signal that the Fed will accelerate the pace of tightening after March, which could add to further dollar strength over the near term,” he said in a commentary.

Though US stocks have risen dramatically on optimism over Trump’s plans for massive infrastructure spending and tax cuts some investors have expressed concern about a lack of detail in the plans.

Weakness in energy and financial shares pushed Wall Street lower on Thursday.

YAHOO Finance via AFP

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Stephen Innes

Stephen Innes

Head of Trading APAC at OANDA
Stephen has over 25 years of experience in the financial markets and currently based in Singapore as the Head of Trading Asia Pacific with OANDA. Stephen's market views focus on the movement of G-10 and ASEAN Currencies. His views appear in Bloomberg, CNBC.Reuters, New York Times WSJ and the Economist. His media appearances include Bloomberg TV & Radio, BBC International, Sky TV, Channel News Asia, ASTRO AWANI and BFM Malaysia. Stephen has an extensive trading experience in Spot and Forward FX, Currency and Interest Rate Futures, Money Market Derivatives and Precious Metals. Before joining OANDA, he worked with organisations like Nat West, Chemical Bank, Garvin Guy Butler, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. Stephen was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and holds a Degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario.
Stephen Innes