U.S. equities remained weak today as markets closely await the outcome of separate meetings of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna today. S&P 500 Index (INDEXCBOE:SPX) Futures fell 0.12% to 2,095,50 and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:NDX) Futures lost 0.09% to 4,517.38.
OPEC, ECB comments in central focus
Although oil prices jumped earlier today in anticipation of tangible steps to be announced by OPEC, commodity analysts have largely ruled out the possibility of any such measures to support prices. Saudi Arabia oil minister Khalid Al-Falih’s comments stating that market rebalancing appears to be effective has further dampened expectations. Resultantly, Brent Crude, which hit $50 per barrel earlier in the day, trimmed gains.
Meanwhile, the ECB will also hold a meeting later today to review Eurozone monetary policy. As per market consensus, ECB is likely to keep interest rates unchanged. Several analysts hold the view that the ECB will raise inflation and growth forecasts. Asian markets were uneasy throughout the session as uncertainty around a rate hike by the Federal Reserve weighed on sentiment. European markets were calm relatively even as ECB and OPEC’s statements remain in focus for traders.
Gold rallies as dollar weakens
The U.S. dollar (CURRENCY:USD) fell against global currencies, pulling it away from a two-month high. A softer greenback facilitated a short rally in gold and the SPDR Gold Trust (ETF) (NYSEARCA:GLD), however, commodity analysts do not see the current trajectory sustained for long. As per some analysts’ estimates, gold could test levels as low as $1,130-$1,140 before rebounding.
On the economic data front, the ADP jobs report for May is set to release today, which will be followed by weekly jobless claims data. Alongside this, U.S. nonfarm payrolls data to come on Friday will be key in setting expectations for a rate hike. Economists projected jobs to grow to 162,000 in May and the unemployment rate is expected to slide to 4.9%.