U.S. markets closed lower on Tuesday after data suggesting that the labor market remains on solid ground overshadowed hopes that the Fed may have enough reason to start cutting back on its rate hikes.
The Dow Jones dropped 0.24%, to 32,653.2, the S&P 500 lost 0.41%, to 3,856.1 and the Nasdaq Composite fell at 0.89%, to 10,890.85. DXY index which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.1% lower at 111.225, not far below Tuesday’s high of 111.78, the strongest level since Oct. 25.
The Fed is set to release its policy statement today, and investors will be closely eyeing any signals in the statement or comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell afterward that the central bank is contemplating decreasing its rate hikes.
As expected, the Fed to deliver another 75 bp rate hike, its fourth such increase in a row. But the market is split over the size of December’s hike, particularly after recent suggestions from Fed officials of a potential slowdown in the tightening pace.
Ukrainian President Zelenskiy asked the EU to help restore electricity in Ukraine, where the energy infrastructure has been damaged by Russia’s latest escalation. A massive wave of Russian missile attacks on Monday damaged power and water supplies across the country including in the capital Kyiv. In the meantime, Russian liquefied natural gas shipments increased in October to nearly a record, the highest level since March. There aren’t currently any direct sanctions on Russian LNG with France, China and Japan among the top importing nations. Russian sock market slipped this morning led by the shares of commodity companies. IMOEX lost 0.24% to 2,169 and RTSI lost 0.57% to 1,111. Energy suppliers Surgutneftegas and Gazprom were among the biggest contributors to the drop, along with metals producer Norilsk Nickel. Polymental fell as much as 3% after the gold and silver miner said its 3Q revenue shrank 13% from the year earlier. Fertilizer producer PhosAgro gained 2.1%. Russian rouble lost this Wednesday morning against most major currencies, as the tax period ended, and investors evaluated neutral stance of the Russian Central Bank that kept interest rates unchanged last Friday. USDRUB was up 0.46% to 61.69 and EURRUB was up 0.30% to 61.04. Russian bonds yields were little changed with a 10-year benchmark bond yields down 1 bps to 9.86%. In economic data, Russia is expected to report further contraction in retail sales in September with a 9% contraction expected year on year.
European markets opened higher on Wednesday while hopes grew that the U.S. Federal Reserve would signal a slowdown in its aggressive policy tightening cycle later in the day.
The STOXX 600 index rose 0.3% to 414.98, the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.15% higher at 13, 411.2 CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.2% to 6,336.8 and the FTSE 100 in the U.K. rose 0.1% to 7,198.2.
Oil prices rose Tuesday, adding to the previous session’s gains, helped by a surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories, suggesting demand is persisting in the world’s largest crude consumer despite soaring inflation and rising interest rates. WTI traded 0.3% higher at $88.63 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.1% to $94.72.
The bullish start to November continues for SSA ahead of the FOMC decision late in the session. The space closed higher even as rates whipsawed with flows leaning towards risk addition with curve steepeners at play. GHANA (+1.625) outperformed as the bid on short end resurfaced strongly with fellow oilers ANGOL (+1.50) and NGERIA (+1.50) putting in a similarly strong performance.
The local FI market remained quiet. The bonds market saw some activity and closing on a negative note with yields across the curve posting higher by 2bps. There was some activity in the Treasury Bills market, as yields closed higher by 20bps across the curve.