The U.S. Federal Reserve will hold fire a bit longer on its first interest rate rise in nearly a decade, according to a little over half of economists in a Reuters poll who only last week narrowly predicted the Fed will pull the trigger on Thursday.
European shares gave up the day's gains on Monday, the dollar stalled and oil prices fell as investors positioned for a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later this week that could see interest rates rise for the first time since 2006.
At the time of this writing on Friday, both oil contracts look poised to finish the week lower. Brent is set to close lower for the second straight week, while WTI is about to snap a two-week winning streak. Despite this week’s losses, both contracts remain above their August lows, keeping bullish hopes alive that prices may have bottomed, even if the probability of such scenario appears to have diminished given the lack of further follow-up buying after that late August rally.
Market volatility is traditionally a boon for brokers and banks hungry for client activity. But the latest bout may signal growing unease about a six-year-old bull market that owes much to repeated central bank largesse.
Wall Street was set to open lower on Friday as jittery investors await a decision on rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve next week. However, the S&P 500 was poised for its biggest weekly gain since July despite the recent volatility that has rocked the global financial market.
The U.S. Federal Reserve on Friday left the door open to a September interest rate hike even while several central bank officials acknowledged that turmoil in financial markets, if prolonged, could delay monetary policy tightening.