After Asian markets closed with mixed sentiments and European markets continue to trade lower, it is highly likely that the mood across the U.S. markets may remain muted. US futures across the board are currently indicating a lower open. In the absence of any relevant data to be released in the U.S. this week, the market participants will focus on the commentary from the Federal Reserve officials later today.
In focus today
Federal Reserve Governor, Lael Brainard, is set to speak on “Economic Outlook, Liquidity and Resilience” at the Institute of International Bankers Annual Washington Conference. Similarly, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer is also due to present his thoughts on “Reflections on Macroeconomics Then and Now” today. The speeches from these two officials will be an indication of the Fed’s stance on monetary policy.
Apart from this, the European Central Bank’s meeting later this week will also remain a key event for the markets. Most of the European indices traded lower after a consecutive fall in German factory orders.
Developments in China
The market also appeared to be settling down with the new economic targets disclosed by China. The government has set a growth target in between 6.5% and 7% for 2016. Also, the Chinese government projected consumer price index growth target of 3%. It expects the budget deficit to be around 3% of the GDP (gross domestic product). Other than this, China’s foreign exchange reserves contracted for the fourth month in a row in February. However, the decline was much lower than anticipated. Reports suggest that Foreign exchange reserved dipped by $28.6 billion to $3.20 trillion last month, signaling that the Yuan has attained some stability.
Meanwhile, oil kick-started this week on a bullish note as Brent Crude traded close to $40 per barrel. The oil prices have been able to recover one-third of their losses in 2016 so far. The U.S. future stock markets opened lower with S&P 500 Futures trading 0.41% down at 1,986.88 while Nasdaq Futures lost 0.49% to 4,301.25.