Latest Fed monetary policy meeting minutes have revealed less support for a new round of quantitative easing among Fed members, inducing losses in global financial markets.
The US jobs market improved quicker in January and February than in 4Q 2011, Fed meeting minutes say, while family disposable income increased and manufacturing continued to expand. These positive signals have changed more Fed members’ attitudes towards further QE. In addition, discussion of new QE measures was not held during the latest policy meeting. As recovery of the US economy continues, the Fed has become increasingly against stimulus, dampening hopes for further QE.
Reduced easing hopes induced losses across US equity markets, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping 124.8 points to 13,074.75, the NASDAQ Composite falling 45.48 points to 3,068.09 and the S&P 500 losing 14.42 points closing at 1,398.96. Crude prices also shed over 2% following release of the latest Fed meeting minutes.
In the manufacturing sector, while China’s official PMI continued to rebound, the HSBC reading reported a plunge, indicating different performances of large SOEs and small private businesses in the country. The euro zone PMI stayed below 50 the equilibrium line while Spanish debt yields rebounded 5.6%, a new high since January. The European Central Bank said on Wednesday to hold the base interest rate at 1%.
SMM expects Shanghai base metals to stay on the negative side following losses in European and US stocks and base metals and as monetary polices and market performances in the two regions fail to offer support.