Mon, 11 Dec 2023

NEW YORK, New York - Interest rates could stay higher for longer, but there is the possibility of rate cuts later next year, the U.S. Federal Reserve said Wednesay as it decided to leave interest rates unchanged this month.

U.S. equity markets went on a roller coast ride shortly after but eventually ended with all the major indices down. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite bore the most damage.

"Recent indicators suggest that economic activity has been expanding at a solid pace. Job gains have slowed in recent months but remain strong, and the unemployment rate has remained low. Inflation remains elevated," the Federal Reserve said in a statement on Wednesday at the conclusion of its FOMC two-day meeting.

"The U.S. banking system is sound and resilient. Tighter credit conditions for households and businesses are likely to weigh on economic activity, hiring, and inflation. The extent of these effects remains uncertain. The Committee remains highly attentive to inflation risks."

"The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run. In support of these goals, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 5-1/4 to 5-1/2 percent. The Committee will continue to assess additional information and its implications for monetary policy. In determining the extent of additional policy firming that may be appropriate to return inflation to 2 percent over time, the Committee will take into account the cumulative tightening of monetary policy, the lags with which monetary policy affects economic activity and inflation, and economic and financial developments. In addition, the Committee will continue reducing its holdings of Treasury securities and agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities, as described in its previously announced plans. The Committee is strongly committed to returning inflation to its 2 percent objective," the FOMC statement said.

"In assessing the appropriate stance of monetary policy, the Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook. The Committee would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if risks emerge that could impede the attainment of the Committee's goals. The Committee's assessments will take into account a wide range of information, including readings on labor market conditions, inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and financial and international developments."

Voting for the monetary policy action were Jerome H. Powell, Chair; John C. Williams, Vice Chair; Michael S. Barr; Michelle W. Bowman; Lisa D. Cook; Austan D. Goolsbee; Patrick Harker; Philip N. Jefferson; Neel Kashkari; Adriana D. Kugler; Lorie K. Logan; and Christopher J. Waller.

"There were no surprises," Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York told Reuters Wednesday. "The Fed sees one more rate hike...and sees interest rates remaining elevated a bit longer than previously stated, and that's cutting into the market."

S&P 500 (-0.94%) The S&P 500 closed at 4,402.21 points, down by 41.74 points or 0.94 percent.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.22%) The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 34,440.95 points, showing a decline of 76.78 points or 0.22 percent.

NASDAQ Composite (-1.53%) The NASDAQ Composite ended the day at 13,469.13 points, down by 209.06 points or 1.53 percent.

Global Foreign Exchange Markets See U.S. Dollar Forge Ahead Wednesday

In the ever-volatile world of foreign exchange markets, Wednesday witnessed another day of across-the-board gains for the U.S. dollar despite the Fed leaving interest rates unchanged.

EUR/USD The Euro to US Dollar exchange rate, EUR/USD, stood at 1.0660 in late trading Wednesday, showing a decrease of 0.18 percent or 0.0019.

USD/JPY The Japanese Yen, USD/JPY, weakened to 148.16, marking a decline of 0.21 percent or 0.31.

USD/CAD The Canadian Dollar, USD/CAD, edged down to 1.3468, reflecting a dip of 0.16 percent or 0.0021.

GBP/USD The British Pound eased to 1.2342, exhibiting a decrease of 0.40 percent or 0.0049.

USD/CHF The Swiss Franc, USD/CHF, traded at 0.8990, showing a decline of 0.15 percent or 0.0013.

AUD/USD The Australian DollarAUD/USD, slipped to 0.6446, marking a decrease of 0.11 percent or 0.0006.

NZD/USD The New Zealand Dollar, NZD/USD, slid 0.16 percent to 0.5926.

Global Stock Markets Have Mixed Performance Wednesday, European stocks surge, Asian markets lose ground

In was a day of varied fortunes for global stock markets Wednesday, with European bourses forging ahead, whilst across Asia and the Pacific, markets were mixed but mostly lower.


S&P/TSX Composite index (-0.02%) Canada's S&P/TSX Composite index closed at 20,214.69 points, registering a minor decrease of 4.20 points or 0.02 percent.


FTSE 100 (+0.93%) The London Stock Exchange closed on a high note as the FTSE 100 surged by 71.45 points, representing a gain of 0.93 percent. Investor confidence seemed to be on the rise in the United Kingdom.


ESTX 50 PR.EUR (+0.78%) The ESTX 50 PR.EUR, representing the Eurozone, gained 33.28 points or 0.78 percent, closing at 4,275.98 points.

Euronext 100 Index (+0.56%) The Euronext 100 Index ended the day at 1,352.86 points, up by 7.47 points or 0.56 percent, reflecting a modest positive sentiment in European markets.

DAX PERFORMANCE-INDEX (+0.75%) Germany's DAX PERFORMANCE-INDEX also showed strength, finishing at 15,781.59 points, up by 117.11 points or 0.75 percent. The performance was a reflection of positive sentiment in the European markets.

CAC 40 (+0.67%) The CAC 40 in France ended the day at 7,330.79 points, marking a gain of 48.67 points or 0.67 percent. French investors appeared optimistic in the face of global economic uncertainties.

BEL 20 (+0.90%) Belgium's BEL 20 surged by 33.25 points or 0.90 percent, closing at 3,711.00 points.


MOEX Russia Index (-0.19%) Russia's MOEX Russia Index faced a minor setback, dropping 4.14 points or 0.19 percent, closing at 2,222.51 points.


Nikkei 225 (-0.66%) Japan's Nikkei 225 experienced a slight setback, declining by 218.81 points or 0.66 percent, closing at 33,023.78. This dip reflected a cautious outlook in the Asian market.

HANG SENG INDEX (-0.62%) Hong Kong's HANG SENG INDEX also witnessed a decline, ending the day down by 111.57 points or 0.62 percent at 17,885.60 points.

SSE Composite Index (-0.52%) China's SSE Composite Index closed at 3,108.57 points, reflecting a decrease of 16.39 points or 0.52 percent. Economic concerns appeared to weigh on investor sentiment.

Shenzhen Index (-0.53%) The Shenzhen Index, representing China's tech-heavy market, saw a decline of 53.27 points or 0.53 percent, closing at 10,072.46 points.

STI Index (+0.04%) Singapore's STI Index exhibited marginal growth, closing up by 1.25 points or 0.04 percent at 3,242.00 points.

S&P BSE SENSEX (-1.18%) India's S&P BSE SENSEX faced a significant decline, falling by 796.00 points or 1.18 percent, closing at 66,800.84 points.

NIFTY 50 (-1.15%) India's NIFTY 50 faced a notable decline, falling by 231.90 points or 1.15 percent, closing at 19,901.40 points.

IDX COMPOSITE (+0.45%) Indonesia's IDX COMPOSITE showed resilience, gaining 31.36 points or 0.45 percent, closing at 7,011.68 points.

FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (-0.42%) The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI faced a minor setback, closing down by 6.10 points or 0.42 percent at 1,451.56 points.

KOSPI Composite Index (+0.02%) South Korea's KOSPI Composite Index exhibited marginal growth, closing up by 0.53 points or 0.02 percent at 2,559.74 points.

TSEC weighted index (-0.61%) Taiwan's TSEC weighted index faced a significant decline, falling by 101.57 points or 0.61 percent, closing at 16,534.75 points.


ALL ORDINARIES (-0.45%) Australia's ALL ORDINARIES index experienced a dip, closing down by 33.10 points or 0.45 percent at 7,361.90 points.

S&P/NZX 50 INDEX GROSS (-0.17%) New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 INDEX GROSS declined by 19.70 points or 0.17 percent, closing at 11,324.82 points.


Top 40 USD Net TRI Index (+2.33%) South Africa's Top 40 USD Net TRI Index exhibited notable strength, soaring by 90.24 points or 2.33 percent, closing at 3,954.97 points.


TA-125 (+1.13%) Israel's TA-125 index displayed strength, closing up by 21.10 points or 1.13 percent at 1,882.89 points.

EGX 30 Price Return Index (-0.79%) Egypt's EGX 30 Price Return Index declined by 157.10 points or 0.79 percent, closing at 19,797.20 points, with a trading volume of 210.905 million.

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