US indices were mixed yesterday, with the Dow and S&P500 finishing down while the NASDAQ and Russell 2000 were up moderately. USD and stocks remain fixated on today’s FOMC decision, looking for signs of whether interest rate increases may start in June or not. In particular, traders may be looking for changes to the ‘patient’ language which has been signalling no changes planned for the next two meetings. Traders may also look to the FOMC member projections of where they expect interest rates to sit at the end of the year. The main cluster of expectations has been around 1.00% which could be achieved by 0.25% increases in every second meeting starting in June, or at every meeting starting in September. Gold has continued to drift lower on expectations of a more hawkish Fed going forward.

China stocks

China stocks consolidated impressively yesterday after the past week’s strength. If the A50 is able to hold well above this 11,150 level, momentum may allow the index to push higher towards the 11,500 to 11,800 range. Should the 11,150 level - now support - be broken, a slide back to 10,800 and the next support of 10,600 could take place.

Crude

Crude oil remains under pressure, with WTI breaking down through $43.00 to a new low on trend, and Brent approaching $53.00. Energy markets could be active again on Wednesday around the weekly US storage reports, as traders continue to fret about supply outstripping demand, particularly with the American Petroleum Institute (API) reporting another big increase this afternoon.

Singapore Stocks

Noble continued its downtrend this morning breaking to a new recent low of S$0.875. Negative reports over the recent slide of the company’s dollar-denominated debt and expectations of a fresh Iceberg report this week continue to cast a dark could on this name. Upstream Oil names including Ezra Holdings, Ezion Holdings, Keppel Corp and Sembawang Marine continue to see early selling pressure in relation to another poor overnight showing in crude.
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