US markets look set to open broadly flat in anticipation of the FOMC statement and press conference later today. Futures suggest the S&P500 will open 0.29 points higher at 1,872.54 with the Dow Jones expected to open 6 points higher at 16,342. The further tapering of asset purchases by the Federal Reserve to scale back the number of dollars sloshing around the global economy is widely anticipated. Since tapering was mentioned by former Chairman Ben Bernanke last year, stock markets have been making multi-year highs while gold, an inflation-hedge has plummeted. The default scenario for the meeting today is that the tapering of $10bn of asset purchases will be viewed as positive for stocks and a negative for gold. The underlying perception here is that the US economy and US corporate earnings are growing at a rate such that the Fed’s easy policy is no longer needed. The key today could be the follow-through by markets. If US stock markets react positively to the tapering initially as expected, but then fall off afterwards, perhaps the perception that US economic and corporate growth can sustain the recovery by themselves is dissipating. This could be the beginnings of either a change in the course of future Fed policy and/or global market trends. CMC Markets is an execution only provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.