Fast Asia Open: Australia trade balance, Thailand consumer confidence
Federal Reserve policymakers are ready to press ahead with the unwinding of its crisis-era economic stimulus programme within months, as they gear up to shrink the central bank’s swollen balance sheet in spite of a spate of weak inflation readings.
5 July 2017
Minutes of their June rate-setting meeting showed the Fed divided over the exact timing of the move, with a number of officials suggesting they did not want to act any sooner than September. But several officials warned that allowing unemployment to fall too low could lead to the US economy overheating or the emergence of financial excesses.
The record of the meeting on June 13-14, released on Wednesday, reveals the Fed in a hawkish mood and comes as central bankers in several rich nations hint at withdrawing some of the crisis-era monetary stimulus. The prospect of tighter policy has provoked an anxious mood in financial markets that have become habituated to years of cheap money.
Wall Street struggled to establish a clear direction overnight as a rebound for tech stocks was offset by weakness in the energy sector with oil prices surrendering some of their recent gains.
In Asia Pacific equities, futures tip Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 to gain 0.4 per cent when trading starts, while Tokyo’s Topix and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng are set to open flat.
Corporate earnings reports out today include Seven & I and Nomura.
The economic calendar for Thursday is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it affair (all times Hong Kong): 09.30: Australia trade balance 11.30: Thailand consumer confidence