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US pre-open: Subdued start expected as markets tread water ahead of FOMC

By Benjamin Chiou

Date: Monday 18 Sep 2023

US pre-open: Subdued start expected as markets tread water ahead of FOMC

(Sharecast News) - US stock futures were pointing to a subdued start on Wall Street on Monday as investors pause for breath following heavy losses on Friday, with all eyes turning towards a much-anticipated Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting later this week.
Futures on the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 were all trading just 0.1% to 0.2% higher in pre-market trade.

No major economic data is on tap during Monday's session.

Stocks slumped at the end of last week, with the S&P 500 falling 1.2% on Friday on the back of rising oil prices and forecast-beating economic data raised reignited fears that inflation could stay 'sticky' for some time yet.

On Monday, 10-year Treasury yields were back close to levels not seen since 2007, up 1.3 basis points at 4.345%, while Brent crude rose 0.5% to $94.44 a barrel.

The FOMC is widely expected to hold rates steady when it meets on Wednesday afternoon. However, analysts are holding out on the possibility of one further rate hike to 5.50-5.75% later this year.

"As past announcements have shown that it does not like to surprise markets with its immediate rate decision, the pause looks to be a near certainty," said analysts at Lloyds Bank.

"So more interesting will be whether Fed says anything new in its guidance on future rate moves, in particular, whether they have peaked and how soon they are likely to be cut."

Elsewhere market sentiment was being dampened somewhat by a mixed performance from Asian stock markets overnight, with concerns about China's property crisis continuing. China Evergrande shares tanked more than 20% after the struggling developer saw a number of employees at its wealth management unit detained by police.

In company news, Chevron futures edged higher after the oil giant said that operations at its Wheatstone liquefied natural gas facility in Australia, which is currently being hit by worker strikes and a fault last week, is back at full production.


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