Published: Fri, May 26, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

S&P, Nasdaq open at record highs after Fed minutes

S&P, Nasdaq open at record highs after Fed minutes

The Aussie fell to US$0.7443 yesterday after rating agency Moody's downgraded China, but it managed to bounce back as the dollar sagged broadly.

The account of the Federal Reserve's early May meeting, which the Fed published Wednesday, suggested the decision to raise interest rates in June still hangs in the balance. The Canadian dollar hit its strongest since mid-April at C$1.3389 per USA dollar after the Bank of Canada kept interest rates unchanged and gave a more upbeat assessment of the economy than some investors had expected.

ANALYST TAKE: "While a 9-month extension to production cuts is widely anticipated, comments from delegates are expected to move prices significantly and remain a driver throughout the day", said Henry Croft, research analyst at Accendo Markets.

BONDS: Bond prices were little changed.

GBP/USD is supported in the range of 1.2920 levels and now trading at 1.2940 levels. Britain's pound declined against the dollar on Thursday after data showed Britain's economy slowed more than previously thought in the first quarter of this year.

THE FED: The Federal Reserve released the minutes from its meeting earlier this month.

With America coming up on 8 years of economic expansion, the Fed's medicine isn't needed as much.

Markets have become concerned, however, over perceived missteps by the Trump administration as U.S. officials probe his campaign team's possible collusion with Russian Federation in last year's elections - investigations they fear could derail planned tax cuts and deregulation measures.

The consumer staples index fell 0.12 percent, weighed down by weak report from Lowe's, the No. 2 USA home improvement chain.

Sheriff: At least 20 injured when tornado hits mobile home park
Another tornado was captured on video near Mclean, Texas, though no injuries or significant damage were immediately reported. Storms could produce excessive rainfall into Saturday morning, especially in south-central and southwest Oklahoma .

The Canadian dollar stood near a one-month high against the greenback after the Bank of Canada gave a more upbeat assessment of the economy than some investors expected.

USD/JPY is supported around 111.30 levels and now trading at 111.76 levels.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference after a two day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in Washington, U.S., March 15, 2017. Shares were higher in Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore.

Following the minutes, the S&P 500 closed at a record high on Wednesday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,403 as of 3:35 p.m., on track for a record close. Most Fed officials said that interest rates should be hiked with the support of economic data, which dented the sentiment in the US Dollar Index. It has bounced in a narrow 7 basis point range so far this week.

Oil prices were lower after the Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude oil inventories fell for the seventh straight week.

Following the minutes, the 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield fell to 2.252 percent from Wednesday's high of 2.297 percent.

"My expectations are that the pace of interest rate hikes will be kept steady and stable regardless of the short-term fluctuations in the U.S. economic data", said Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong's Wing Fung Financial Group.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.42% while South Korea's benchmark Kospi index surged 0.9%.

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