Equities on pause with all eyes on the Fed
01:00, 18 september 2013
· Av CMC Markets
Celebratory drinks hosted by our CEO yesterday evening in our London offices have left most of our trading floor scrabbling around in their desks for the Berocca this morning. Fortunately the market seems to be sat in the eye of the storm ahead of the Fed’s announcement on any immediate tapering of asset purchases, so a round of chicken katsu curries at lunch should straighten everyone up ahead of this afternoon’s action…
Expectations seem to be for a reduction of around $10bn/month, though the desk view here is that we could well see a smaller reduction in light of recent employment data. Our chief analyst Michael ‘The Sage of Houndsditch’ Hewson calls for no tapering at all, with a plan of action to be decided in October at the earliest.
The price action in cable this morning suggests at least some FX traders are positioning themselves for this outcome, with the dollar well offered once again, pushing the cross up to 1.5970. Equity markets also look to be holding their recent gains, and anything less than the expected $10bn reduction could well see futures push on again later today after the European close…
One name not hanging around for tonight’s news is Smiths Group, back above 1400p a share and approaching all-time highs after meeting expectations on earnings and announcing a special dividend that will see £118m returned to shareholders.
Shareholders of Aberdeen Asset Management are suffering contrasting fortunes, with the stock down over 4% on a downgrade from Morgan Stanley. The bank sees the underperformance of key equity funds as a headwind to growth at the fund manager, and has cut its outlook for 2014 by 6%.
So that’s it for now – all eyes on the Fed this evening. We’ll pick up the fallout for European stocks this time tomorrow…
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