Market Overview: Powell’s Comments Push Markets Higher

  • Dovish comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell eased market fears that interest rates would be rising too sharply
  • US indices post strong gains as a result of the Powell comments, Asian markets poised for gains

The Federal Reserve Chairman spoke, and the market evidently liked what it heard, with US equities and other risk-assets rising sharply on what investors perceived as a more dovish turn from the central bank on interest rates.

When you are the Chairman of the world’s most important central bank words clearly matter, and it seems Jerome Powell is all too aware of this, given that his comments from early October that interest rates are “a long way from neutral’ was a catalyst for sending markets lower for the past two months.

Contrast these comments with what he said today, which is that rates are “just under” the neutral rate, and it’s clear that either due to changing global conditions, the market-sell off over the past 8 weeks, or political pressure from President Trump (who has indicated in no uncertain terms that he’s unhappy with the job being done by the Fed) that there was a deliberate attempt by Jerome Powell to calm markets today.

Having said that, we are still on track for the Fed to hike in December, with the Preliminary GDP number of 3.5% today (strong, albeit below the 3.6% expected) signalling that to this point the US economy remains largely unhindered by slowing conditions in other parts of the globe.

In market action today, the major US stocks were all trading well into positive territory with gains of around 2% on the major indices.

Spot Gold reversed the loss from the previous day, rising $8.50 to US$1222 per ounce as the US Dollar dipped on Jerome Powell’s comments. Meanwhile, crude oil was in the red again after yet another weekly rise in US stockpiles, with the WTI crude oil contract hitting a new yearly low by settling 2.5% lower at $50.29 per barrel.

Asian market futures are currently pointing higher and are expected to follow the strong lead from Wall Street. With Jerome Powell’s comments now in the rear-view mirror, attention now will turn to the other big issue which is the G20 summit and specifically what if anything will come from the Trump and Xi meeting on trade.

The information provided here has been produced by third parties and does not reflect the opinion of AxiTrader. AxiTrader has reproduced the information without alteration or verification and does not represent that this material is accurate, current, or complete and it should not be relied upon as such. The Information is not to be construed as a recommendation; or an offer to buy or sell; or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security, financial product, or instrument; or to participate in any trading strategy. Readers should seek their own advice. Reproduction or redistribution of this information is not permitted.