Stocks firm, dollar on edge ahead of Fed decision
Asia’s stockmarkets steadied on Wednesday, with signs of a slowdown in U.S. wages bolstering hopes that the Federal Reserve could hint at an end to interest rate hikes at its meeting later in the day.
Wall Street indexes had rallied, as had bonds to a lesser extent, while the dollar gave up gains overnight when the Fed’s preferred wages gauge, the U.S. employment cost index, showed a 1% rise last quarter, its smallest increase in a year.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) was up 0.6% in early trade, following a 1.2% drop on Tuesday, while Japan’s Nikkei (.N225) rose 0.7%.
The Fed will announce its rate decision at 1900 GMT, followed by a news conference with Chair Jerome Powell half an hour later.
Interest-rate markets have priced in a slowdown in the cracking pace of rate hikes, with a 25 basis point hike seen bringing the Fed funds rate target range to 4.5-4.75%.
This report’s information was first seen on REUTERS; to read more, click this link.
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