As the Asian and European equity markets kickstarted the week on a buoyant note, the U.S. market has opened lower today. The S&P 500 is down 0.4% while the Nasdaq is down by slightly less at 0.24% in the early trading hours.
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Fed’s Policy Meet In Focus
U.S markets had witnessed a steep rally on Friday as they added up gains of close to 1%. However, sentiment today is mostly skewed towards the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, which is scheduled to take place on March 15 and 16.
Though there are no significant key economic data to be released today, traders are adjusting their equity-based portfolios mainly out of the expectations of the Federal Reserve policy decision. The majority of market analysts have ruled out the possibility of any change in interest rates during the upcoming Federal meeting. However, Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s comments will matter the most as they will serve as a strong indication of the future path of interest rates.
Asian, European Markets End Positive
Asian markets closed sharply higher as weak Chinese data did not seep into the sentiment in the region. Moreover, the reassurance by the Chinese officials about the lower likelihood of withdrawal of bailout funds from the market has uplifted investor appetite. Meanwhile, the Eurozone reported a higher rise in factory output. Industrial production in the economy soared 2.1% month-on-month in January. The number beats forecasts of 1.7% growth and is considered as the first sign of the year signaling that the economy is bounding back from a slow down.
Apart from this, oil might add to the volatility this week as the commodity has fallen back below $38. The weakness is driven by Iran, which said that it is not willing to cooperate with production cut unless it reaches a production target of 4 million barrels each day.