Thursday, 13 October 2016

Markets mixed as Fed remains divided on rate hike timing

Markets were mixed on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent, the STOXX Europe 600 fell 0.5 percent and the Nikkei 225 fell 1.1 percent.

The yield on the US 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.778 percent from 1.760 percent on Tuesday.

The British pound rose 0.7 percent against the dollar to $1.2207 after four consecutive days of losses.

US crude oil fell 1.2 percent after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said its production rose last month.

The release of the Federal Reserve's minutes from the September monetary policy meeting provided little direction for markets. It noted that several members thought a rate hike was needed “relatively soon” but added that “a reasonable argument could be made either for an increase at this meeting or for waiting for some additional information on the labor market and inflation”.

Still, Randall Kroszner, an economics professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, told Bloomberg that “a rate hike is very likely by the end of the year”.

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