Markets Overnight: A Little Thing Known as the FOMC Release Today

by Enis September 18, 2013 4:47 am • Commentary

There’s a little thing called the FOMC release at 2:00 pm EDT today.  Markets very quiet overnight ahead of it.

  1. Asian Stocks Mixed, Japan Higher – The Nikkei filled its July 25, 2013 gap overnight (the index was up almost 2% at one point), and closed at its highest level since that day, up 1.35%.  The rest of Asian equity markets were close to unchanged, and Asian currencies were quiet vs. the USD as well.
  2. European Stocks Open Slightly Green – The Euro Stoxx 50 index made a minor new high above 2900 this morning.  Interestingly though, so far this morning, none of the major individual country indices have gotten above their Monday high, as laggards are performing a bit better than leaders after the open.
  3. Gold Briefly Falls Below $1300/oz – The overnight chart shows the flimsy nature of gold’s moves.  The stops that were hit below $1300, caused a quick move all the way down to 1281.80, before quickly bouncing back:

    Front Month Gold Futures, Volume Lower Panel, Courtesy of Bloomberg
  4. Bank of England Minutes Show Unanimous Vote – No member voted against leaving the size of the bond-purchase program unchanged or against leaving the benchmark interest rate at 0.5%.  The initial reaction by currency and bond markets was to view the release as hawkish, though only mildly so.  The pound rose 0.25%, and the 10 year yield in the U.K. moved 2 bps higher.
  5. Housing Starts and Building Permits at 8:30 am, FOMC at 2pm – A quiet day is expected in the market until the 2pm meeting.  Consensus seems to have coalesced around $10 billion in tapering.  The VIX at 14.50 is not anticipating a large move.