Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Markets mixed, Yellen sounds “cautiously hawkish” on monetary policy

Markets were mixed on Tuesday.

The S&P 500 and STOXX Europe 600 were flat

Earlier, Asian markets mostly fell amid lingering concerns over North Korea. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.3 percent.

“The markets are cautious but yet to fully price in a flare up in military conflict,” said Ivan Ip, a stock strategist at UOB Group.

In the US, markets showed little reaction to Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen's speech to the National Association for Business Economics.

Yellen said in her speech that because of the risk of the labour market overheating and financial instability, “it would be imprudent to keep monetary policy on hold until inflation is back to 2%”.

“The tone of her comments is cautiously hawkish,” said Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies & Co.

Indeed, market expectations for a rate increase in December based on prices in Fed funds futures moved up to 76 percent, according to CME Group’s FedWatch Tool.

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