It’s been a broadly negative session for Asian markets today amidst fears that the Federal Reserve could start to hike interest rates prematurely in a move that could prove damaging to the global economy. This is however helping the greenback lock in gains and with USD/JPY charging up towards 107, it’s perhaps no surprise that the Nikkei has once again been the exception, leaving the Japanese index to finish ahead. There’s also concern creeping in over the slowdown in property sales in mainland China – we’re seeing a growing number of vaguely worrying economic releases, with no real suggestions that any further stimulus measures are on the cards from Beijing.
Wall Street futures are suggesting we will see some very modest gains at the open today but with little meaningful economic data on the cards, it’s going to be difficult for the fundamentals to provide any real direction. The big event for many will be next week’s FOMC meeting – there’s little expectation that the rate hike will come along then, but any change in tone from Janet Yellen will be scrutinized in detail by trades. Ahead of the open we’re calling the DOW up 7 at 17021 and the S&P up 1 at 1989.