Investors cautious ahead of Fed meeting

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2 min read
FILE - In this May 22, 2020, file photo, the Federal Reserve building is viewed in Washington. Federal Reserve officials last month expressed concerns about the severity of the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. The minutes of the June 9-10 discussions that were made public Wednesday, July 1, 2020, show officials grappling with economic disruptions that had already occurred. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
The Federal Reserve building in Washington. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

European stock markets were quiet on Tuesday morning, with attention focused on the latest US Federal Reserve meeting getting underway in Washington, DC.

The Fed on Tuesday begins a private two-day policy meeting. Chair Jerome Powell will deliver a statement on policy decisions and the outlook for the US economy on Wednesday.

“Traders are a little hesitant to place any bigger bets as the Fed begin their two-day meeting today,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Avatrade. “The hope is that the Fed will continue their fight against coronavirus via its monetary policy.

“The stock rally is dependent on the outcome of the Federal Reserve meeting. Policymakers in Washington still haven’t delivered another stimulus package, and it seems likely that it will be further delayed. Now, there is more pressure on the Fed to support the stock market.”

European stock markets had a mixed opening.

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) rose 0.1%, the CAC 40 (^FCHI) fell 0.3% and the DAX (^GDAXI) rose 0.3%. After falling over 1% on Monday amid quarantine concerns, Spain’s IBEX 35 (^IBEX) rose 0.2% at the open.

Wall Street futures were little changed. S&P 500 futures (ES=F) and Dow Jones futures (YM=F) were flat, while Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) were up 0.2%.

Stocks were mixed overnight in Asia. Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) fell 0.2% and Australia’s ASX 200 (^AXJO) fell 0.3%, but Chinese markets registered gains. The Hong Kong Hang Seng (^HSI) rose 0.4%, the Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) rose 0.7%, and the Shenzen Component (399001.SZ) rallied 1.2%.

The gold rally paused after prices reached new all-time highs on Monday. Gold was flat at $1932.80 (GC=F) per ounce. Silver (SI=F) crept higher, up 0.4% to $24.61 per ounce.

The pause for gold came as the dollar’s slide moderated. The greenback has been under pressure for the last month as COVID-19 cases have spiked in the US, raising fears about knock-on effects for the economy.

The dollar was up 0.1% against the euro (EUR=X) to €0.8525 and up 0.1% against the pound (GBP=X) to £0.7771.

Listen to the latest podcast from Yahoo Finance UK