SHANGHAI, Jul 15 (SMM) — This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.
The US dollar fell on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in remarks prepared for Congress that the economy was “still a ways off” from levels the central bank wanted to see before tapering its monetary support.
His comments came a day after data showed U.S. inflation hit its highest in more than 13 years last month, which lifted the greenback to just shy of its three-month high and sharpened the focus on when central banks around the world will begin withdrawing pandemic-era stimulus.
That focus intensified on Wednesday after the Bank of Canada said it would cut its weekly bond purchases to C$2 billion ($1.6 billion) from C$3 billion, and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand said it was ending bond purchases, raising expectations it could increase rates as soon as August.
Powell said in his prepared comments ahead of his two-day testimony starting later in the day that the Fed is firm in its belief that current price increases are tied to the reopening of the economy and are transitory.
The Fed will continue to deliver support “until recovery is complete,” he said.
The dollar index declined after Powell’s comments, slipping 0.4% to 92.428. It had earlier risen as high as 92.832 - just below the 92.844 level reached last week for the first time since April 5.
On Wall Street, US stock futures were steady in overnight trading on Wednesday as investors readied for more corporate earnings and labor market data.
Dow futures fell just 10 points. S&P 500 futures were flat and Nasdaq 100 futures gained only 0.04%.
On Wednesday, the Dow rose 44 points, helped by a 2.4% gain in Apple’s stock. The S&P 500 climbed 0.12% after hitting an intraday record earlier in the session. The Nasdaq Composite was the relative underperformer, dipping 0.2%. However, the Nasdaq 100 closed at an all-time high.
The small-cap benchmark Russell 2000 lost 1.7% on Thursday, bringing its week-to-date losses to more than 3.4%.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell — in testimony to the House Committee on Financial Services — quelled investors fears about a rollback of the central bank’s easy policies anytime soon, even in the face of inflation. The producer prices from June showed higher than expected inflation on Thursday.
Oil prices dropped on Wednesday after Reuters reported Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had reached a compromise that should unlock an OPEC+ deal to boost global oil supplies as the world recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
The benchmarks extended their losses after government data showed implied US gasoline demand declining considerably last week. While the U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude stockpiles declined more than expected, in their eighth consecutive draw, the drawdown was overshadowed by lagging gasoline demand.
“After last week’s emphatic print, implied gasoline demand has dropped off considerably, resulting in a build to gasoline inventories,” said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData.
US fuel stocks were higher even as refinery runs eased back a bit. Gasoline stocks rose by 1 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 1.8 million-barrel drop.
Brent crude slipped 2.26% to $74.76 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate settled 2.82% lower at $73.13 per barrel.
Gold jumped on Wednesday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reassured investors that the central bank would continue its accommodative monetary policy despite a spike in inflation readings.
Spot gold rose about 1% to $1,824.75 per ounce by 2:46 pm ET. U.S. gold futures settled up 0.8% at $1,825.
Powell, in prepared remarks before a congressional hearing, said the US job market “is still a ways off” from the progress the Fed wants to see before reducing its support for the economy, while current high inflation will ease in the coming months.
Data showed US consumer price and producer price indexes surged last month.
“It (Powell's comments) really cements the belief that despite this hotter inflation data, the Fed still remains on course to be fairly accommodative,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Investors on Wednesday also cheered comments by European Central Bank (ECB) officials that the central bank would not tighten too early.
Key economic data slated for release today include China's GDP annual rate in the second quarter, annual rate of China's urban fixed asset investment in June, China's total retail sales of consumer goods in June, annual rate of added value of industrial enterprises above designated size in China, the number of initial jobless claims in the US as of July 10, monthly rate of US import price index in June and monthly rate of industrial output in the US in June.