US stocks edge higher ahead of Fed meeting

March 19, 2019

By IFCMarkets

Dollar weakness continues

US stock market extended gains on Monday. The S&P 500 advanced 0.4% to 2832.94. Dow Jones industrial gained 0.3% to 25914.10 despite continued Boeing drag on the blue chip index. The Nasdaq composite added 0.3% to 7714.48. The dollar weakening endured ahead of Federal Reserve two-day meeting starting today. Market participants expect the central bank to keep dovish stance and lower rate hike projections to just one in 2019 and one more in 2020. 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, slipped 0.02% to 96.50 and is lower currently. Futures on US stock indexes point to higher openings today.

FTSE 100 outperforms European indices

European stocks ended marginally higher on Monday led by bank shares. The GBP/USD turned lower while EUR/USD continued climbing with both pairs higher currently. The Stoxx Europe 600 index added 0.3%. The DAX 30 however slid 0.3% to 11657.06. France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.1% and UK’s FTSE 100 gained 1.0% to 7299.19 as Prime Minister May’s plans for gaining parliament’s approval for her Brexit deal faced increasing opposition after the speaker of parliament ruled that the deal could not be put to a new vote unless it was re-submitted in fundamentally different form.

GB100 breaching resistance line    03/19/2019 Market Overview IFC Markets chart

Asian indices mixed

Asian stock indices are mostly lower today. Nikkei slipped 0.1% to 21566.85 as yen climb against the dollar continued. Markets in China are mixed as investors await further developments following weekend reports the summit between President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping to end the trade battle between the two countries may be pushed back to June: the Shanghai Composite Index is down 0.2% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 0.1% higher. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index again turned lower slipping 0.1% as the Australian dollar continued gaining against the greenback.

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Brent futures prices are extending gains today still supported by OPEC supply cuts. Prices gained yesterday after reports major oil producers’ “overall conformity” with the production cut agreement that began at the start of the year rose to almost 90% in February, up from 83% in January. May Brent crude rose 0.6% to $67.54 a barrel on Monday.

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