Fed Beige Book Signals Economy May have Turned the Corner
Today the Fed reported in its monthly Beige Book that the U.S. economy
was stabilizing or improving.This
positive report was a strong sign that the worst recession in decades was over
and that the economy may have turned the corner.
While the Fed remains â€ścautiously positiveâ€ť about the
economy, the road to recovery is expected to remain rocky primarily due to flat
retail sales and a weak labor market.The biggest concern for many of the worldâ€™s central banks is when to put
an end to the stimulus plans which have supported their economies.This presents the next challenge for the
central banks because waiting too long could be inflationary while acting too
swiftly could curtail gains.
Equity markets finished the trading session higher fueled by
a cheaper Dollar and a Goldman Sachs recommendation to buy multi-industry
companies.Early this morning the
markets felt downside pressure which dried up immediately after the opening
when sellers vanished.The subsequent
rally sent the indices up toward recent tops before the release of positive
Treasury auction results and the Fed Beige Book triggered an intraday
profit-taking sell-off. Buyers stepped in and the markets were able to erase
much of the afternoon loss.
Traders seemed a little hesitant to buy strength at current
price levels because of the history of September to produce major tops.Investors seem to be looking for a catalyst
to drive this market through the recent top.Traders are also looking for a sector to take over the leadership of
this rally now that it is six months old.
December Bonds and Notes traded under pressure throughout
the day as traders awaited the results of todayâ€™s $20 billion 10-year note
auction.Competition from Japan for
fixed income investment funds have helped to drive up yields recently.Most of the earlier losses were erased when
the results of the auction showed favorable interest.
The U.S. Dollar was under pressure all day as appetite for
higher risk assets drove the Dollar lower. Record low borrowing costs have been
contributing to the weakness in the Dollar and the strength in higher yielding
assets. Investors have been selling the Dollar to fund their appetite for
risk.The U.S. Dollar is currently the
cheapest funding currency.
December Gold is traded mixed most of the day before
finishing lower despite the weaker Dollar.Overbought technical conditions may be helping to repel buyers at the
current price level.This could indicate
that a sizeable correction is possible to attract fresh buyers.The recent rally in the equity markets may
also be drawing away investors who only want to buy gold as protection against
a stock market decline.
December Crude Oil recovered into the close after a weaker
opening.Strength in the equity markets
and weakness in the Dollar helped to support the rally.OPEC is holding a meeting in Vienna this week.Expectations are for the oil cartel ministers
to leave production at current levels and to encourage members to maintain
their production quotas
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Mon 19 Feb 2018
00:00 CN, US- Holiday Tue 20 Feb 2018
00:00 CN- Holiday A 10:00 US- ZEW Survey Wed 21 Feb 2018
00:00 CN- Holiday A All Day flash PMIs A 15:00 US- Existing Homes Sales A 15:30 US- EIA Crude AA 19:00 US- Fed Meeting Minutes Thu 22 Feb 2018 A 09:00 DE- IFO Survey A 09:30 GB- GDP AA 13:30 CA- Retail Sales A 13:30 US- Weekly Jobless Fri 23 Feb 2018 A 10:00 EZ- Final HICP AA 13:30 CA- CPI
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