Headlines – International
The two-day Federal Reserve meeting kicks off in Washington later today, with the bank widely expected to announce an interest-rate increase when its decision will be published 5:00AM AEDT tommorrow.
The European Union is considering forcing the U.K. to wait until June for formal negotiations to begin on the terms of Brexit and Prime Minister Theresa May may have to land a deal.The 27 other members of the EU have pinpointed a meeting of government ministers in Luxembourg on June 20 as the moment to authorize the opening of two years of talks. As well as limiting how long the two sides have to find common ground, pushing the start of the divorce discussions until late June risks upsetting businesses and banks that are seeking early clarity on just what the U.K.’s withdrawal from the EU means for them. While leaders of EU countries will gather in April or May for a summit to agree on the “framework” for talks, actual discussions with the U.K. can’t begin until ministers officially approve more-detailed negotiation directives to be drawn up by the Brussels-based European Commission.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May rejected Scotland’s case for holding an independence referendum and accused its leaders of reneging on promises, preparing the ground for delaying a second plebiscite.May said polling data showed the majority of Scots don’t want another referendum, following the defeat of 2014. She cited former First Minister Alex Salmond as touting that plebisicite as “a once in a generation vote.” At the same time,First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants to be able to offer Scots the choice between leaving the EU with Britain, or becoming an independent nation with access to the EU’s single market.May’s spokesman yesterday declined to say whether the government would allow a referendum, pointing out that the Scottish parliament won’t consider Sturgeon’s request until next week. The government will provide details, he said, once that step has been taken.
China’s economy holds momentum as output, investment accelerate.It started the year on a firm footing as its old growth engines gathered pace, with home sales remaining resilient and steel and aluminum rebounding as prices rallied.
Dollar traded in a tight range against most major peers with turnover below average as traders held on to existing positions ahead of the Federal Open Markets Committee two-day policy meeting starting today
EUR/USD slipped 0.2 percent to $1.0637.
GBP/USD led losses in major currencies, weakening by as much as 0.9 percent before trading 0.5 percent lower at $1.2167
AUD/USD drops 0.2% to 0.7557
USD/CAD rose to new high at 1.3495 in morning
USD/JPY rose up 0.1% to 114.7300
The yield on 10-year Treasury notes fell below 2.60 percent
The rate on similar maturity German bonds fell two basis points to 0.45 percent after earlier breaking above 0.5 percent
Other European government bonds also fell. The Netherlands was selling 2.275 billion euros in five-year bonds
The S&P 500 slipped 0.3 percent to 2,365.40 at 4 p.m. in New York.Dow Jones slipped 44 points to 20,837.37.Energy producers tumbled 1.1 percent, while industrial shares lost 0.9 percent.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.3 percent and banking stocks retreated.Dax little changed at 11,988.79.FTSE 100 down 0.1% at 7,357.85.
The MSCI Emerging Market Index advanced 0.1 percent, for a third day of gains.
West Texas Intermediate dropped 1.4 percent to settle at $47.72 a barrel.
Aluminum fell 1 percent to $1,862.50 a metric ton.
Gold futures for April delivery slipped less than 0.1 percent to settle at $1,202.60 an ounce in New York.