U.S. Stock Markets Eye Fed Chief Panel Meeting; Futures Point To Lower Opening

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The U.S. equity markets can expect a volatile trade today as indicated by Wall Street futures. The release of initial jobless claims for the week and the meeting between the Federal Reserve chief panel are the important events lined up for the day.

Key events ahead

S&P 500 Futures fell 0.41% to 2,051.75 and Nasdaq Futures slipped 0.39% to 4,517.38 during the day. The U.S. equities pushed higher yesterday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.64% to 17,716.05 while the S&P 500 Index added 1.05% to 2,066.66.

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The data to be released later today will be critical for the direction of markets as the Fed’s meeting minutes sent out strong signals that the Fed is not yet ready to hike rates. Such indication sent the U.S. dollar spiralling down to 17-months low against the Japanese yen.

Elsewhere, European equities pared their early day gains to slip into the red. Investors across the Eurozone will be focusing on the minutes from the European Central Bank’s March meeting. ECB chief Mario Draghi’s comments at the Portuguese President’s Council in Lisbon will remain the spotlight for the European markets.

Among Asian economies, China reported an increase in its foreign exchange reserves in March, which marks its first such increase since November 2015. According to official data, the country’s foreign exchange reserves increased $10.3 billion to $3.21 trillion in March. The reading came in higher than analyst expectations of $3.205 trillion. According to analysts, the stabilisation of yuan against the dollar has eased off pressure on foreign exchange reserves.

At the same time, oil retreated from its early day gains, which could also leave an impact on U.S. equities. Growing concerns over the piling up of oil reserves took away the momentary rally in the commodity yesterday, which came on reports of declining U.S. inventories.

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