All eyes on the Fed

Investors await clues on monetary policy

All eyes on the Fed
Illustration by Mohamad Chehab

13 December 2016

Investors await the Federal Reserve's meeting that begins later today for clues on the outlook for U.S. monetary policy. The Fed is widely expected to hike interest rates for the first time in 2016 at its two-day meeting.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.1 percent in early trade, while Japan's Nikkei stock index slid 0.5 percent.

Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar jumped on Monday as crude oil prices shot to their highest since mid-2015, but the uptrend in Saudi Arabia lost steam as investors anticipated the state budget.

Oil prices were firm on Tuesday as the first signs of a crude production cut organized by OPEC and other exporters materialized, tightening a market that has been grappling with ballooning oversupply for over two years.

The dollar eased against the yen on Tuesday, coming off a 10-month high, as a surge in Treasury yields was tempered for the time being.

In the latest news, Britain will need a transitional trade agreement with the European Union, and the government should set out plans for it before beginning formal divorce talks with the bloc, members of parliament's upper house said on Tuesday.

Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was sworn in on Monday as the ninth United Nations Secretary-General, pledging to personally help broker peace in various conflicts and reform the 71-year old world body to become more effective.

The Croatian government and public sector trade unions failed to sign an agreement on a 2017 pay increase as planned on Monday, and talks are set to continue.

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