Today has felt like the calm before the storm with stocks, commodities and currencies all holding steady. Even crude oil has been mixed with WTI up slightly and Brent down slightly through much of the day amid rumours some producers could be agreeable to a one-year deal on production. WTI has started to pick up late in the day following another big drawdown in API inventories to the tune of 7.5 mmbbls confirming a stronger demand/supply situation.
Traders appear to be reluctant to commit to a direction with a two-day Fed meeting underway culminating in tomorrow's big rate decision, statement, member projections and press conference. The street along with me think the Fed will hold off on a rate hike for now but signal toward an increase in December. Two of the Fed’s primary dealers think, however, that the Fed could surprise with a rate hike now. Given all the hawkish talk of late there still remains a sizeable enough chance of a surprise increase that traders remain wary, particularly after so many got caught offside following the Brexit vote back in June.
Traders also await the Bank of Japan's meeting tonight. It's been a few months now since it introduced negative interest rates. Following a summer review, and with Japan's economy still struggling, the Bank of Japan is expected to bring in new stimulus measures this meeting. US traders will likely be watching this decision closely. As with the ECB, a big stimulus move would make it more difficult for the Fed to raise rates while less than expected or no new stimulus would clear the runway for the Fed to act.
In terms of JPY, because of its role as a safe haven the Yen has been going up on stimulus instead of down as would usually happen. Because of this, we could see significant swings in both directions on the news regardless of what transpires. Don't forget that as an exporting nation, the Nikkei
often trades in the opposite direction of JPY.
NZD may also be active today as traders prepare for tomorrow’s RBNZ meeting with the decision coming 3 hours after the FOMC news. With inflation picking up, PMI numbers mixed, and RBA minutes indicating neutral policy across the Tasman Sea, the RBNZ can afford to pause after cutting rates for the second time this year at its last meeting.
FedEx $2.90 vs street $2.78
Microsoft 8.3% dividend increase
Adobe Systems $0.75 vs street $0.72
Significant announcements released overnight include:
US API crude oil inventories (7.5 mmbbls) vs previous 1.1 mmbbls
US housing starts 1,142K vs street 1,190K
US building permits 1,139K vs street 1,165K
Germany producer prices (1.6%) as expected vs previous (2.0%)
Upcoming significant economic announcements include:
(Note: 11:30 am in Sydney/Melbourne is currently 1:30 pm in Auckland, 4:30 pm in Vancouver, 7:30 pm in Toronto/Montréal, 12:30 am in London and 8:30 am in Singapore)
2:00 pm AEST ish Bank of Japan interest rate (0 10%) no change expected
2:00 pm AEST ish Bank of Japan annual QE target ¥80B no change expected
8:30 am BST Sweden Riksbank minutes
9:00 am BST Norway unemployment rate street 4.8%
10:00 am BST Riksbank Skingsley speaking
10:30 am EDT US DOE crude oil inventories street 3.25 mmbbls
10:30 am EDT US DOE gasoline inventories street (1.4 mmbbls)
2:00 pm EDT US FOMC interest rate 0.50% no change expected
2:00 pm EDT US FOMC statement and member projections
2:30 pm EDT US FOMC Yellen press conference
5:00 pm EDT Wed NZ RBNZ interest rate 2.00% no change expected
9:00 am NZST Thu