Slow-Moving Equities Await Fed's 'Powell' Point Presentation


 United States (US) equity gauges moved weakly in the New York session as investors awaited President Jerome Powell's comments on the prospect of rate hikes and scrutinized the situation in China.

For now, US Treasury yields and the dollar continue to be options when comments from Federal Reserve (Fed) officials early Thursday morning will give a clear picture of the future of the central bank.

It indirectly offset falling equities with the S&P 500 down 0.16% at 3,957.63, the Nasdaq Composite down 0.59% at 10,983.78 while the Dow Jones Industrial gained 0.01% at 33,852.53.

Horizon Investments portfolio manager Ron Saba commented that nervous investors were waiting for the Fed's comments tomorrow and caused buying activity to stop for a while.

However, yesterday's weak US consumer confidence data gave hope with Janney Montgomery Scott's chief investment officer Mark Luschini expecting the reading to influence the Fed's stance.

On the other side, the Asian trading session this morning saw Australia's S&P/ASX 200 down 0.37% while Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.52% and the Topix fell 0.42%.

South Korea's Kospi plunged 0.35% and MSCI's broader Asia Pacific index started weak 0.14%.

There is a glimmer of hope from Asia with China poised to change course on its zero-Covid policy as health officials launch an action plan to vaccinate the elderly there.

Meanwhile, the benchmark 10-year note rose 5 basis points to 3.752% from 3.702% while the 30-year bond yield jumped 5.6 basis points to 3.8049%.

The dollar index strengthened 0.188% while the Euro fell 0.11% at $1.0326, the Yen strengthened 0.19% at ¥138.68 and Sterling fell 0.105 at $1.1946.