|18 June, 2019

Tuesday outlook: Investors cautious ahead of Fed meeting

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.2%

Federal Reserve Board building on Constitution Avenue is pictured in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2019.

Federal Reserve Board building on Constitution Avenue is pictured in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2019.

Reuters/Leah Millis
  • Fed’s two-day meeting begins later in the day
  • Oil prices drop on U.S.-China trade tensions
  • Saudi Arabia’s index rebounds on Monday
  • Dollar, gold remain unchanged

Global markets

Asian shares edged up in early trading on Tuesday but gains were limited as investors were cautious ahead of the United States’ Federal Reserve two-day meeting that begins on Tuesday.

According to a Reuters report, the central bank is expected to leave borrowing costs unchanged this time but possibly lay the groundwork for a rate cut later this year.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.2%.

“The FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting is the week’s biggest event so there will be a degree of caution prevailing in the markets,” Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management, told Reuters.

“Expectations for a rate cut in July have increased significantly, so the markets could experience disappointment if the Fed does not send strong signals of impending easing.”

Oil prices

Oil prices dropped early on Tuesday on worries about global economic growth due to trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

But tensions in the Middle East are likely to keep prices supported, analysts told Reuters.

Brent crude LCOc1 futures were down 16 cents, or 0.3%, at $60.78 a barrel by 0215 GMT. They fell 1.7% in the previous session on concerns about slowing global growth.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures were down 12 cents, or 0.2%, at $51.92. They dropped 1.1% on Monday.

“The (oil) market is in a rut and desperately in need of some robust economic data to get it out of this funk,” Stephen Innes, managing partner at Vanguard Markets in Bangkok, told Reuters.

Middle East markets

Saudi Arabia’s index rose 1 percent on Monday, recovering some losses from previous sessions. Saudi Arabian Mining Co gained 3.9% and Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company jumped 6.2%.

In Dubai, the index traded flat with telecom operator Emirates Integrated Telecommunications gaining 1%.

The Abu Dhabi index extended its losses for the third straight session mainly pressured by its financial stocks. A 0.8% slide in First Abu Dhabi Bank, and a 2.7% drop in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank pushed the index down by 1.1%.

Qatar's index declined 0.9 percent with market heavyweight Industries Qatar dropping 2.1% and Commercial Bank losing 3.1%.

In Egypt, the index increased 0.2 percent with Commercial International Bank closing 1.1% higher and Elsewedy Electric was up 2.4%.

Kuwait’s premier market index edged up 0.1 percent, Bahrain’s index was flat and Oman’s index edged up 0.1 percent.

Currencies

The dollar was mainly unchanged on Tuesday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was last flat on the day at 97.573.

Precious metals

Gold prices were flat on Tuesday.

Spot gold was steady at $1,340.51 as of 0126 GMT.

U.S. gold futures were almost unchanged at $1,343 an ounce.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)


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