Market Overview: Wall Street Opens in Mixed Territory
Wall Street opened in mixed territory Wednesday while the dollar slid slightly, as investors weighed concerns over China's economy while awaiting Federal Reserve meeting minutes later in the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.31% in earlier trading, and the S&P 500 was flat, up just 0.03%. The Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.3%.
Global Market Reaction: Tepid Response to International Declines
The tepid open came after declines in European and Asian stock markets. The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, was down 0.27%. "Much of the decline is explained by continuing concerns surrounding the economic slowdown in China, as well as rising tensions with the U.S.," said Thomas Gehlen, senior market strategist at Kleinwort Hambros.
China's Economy: New Home Prices Fall and Central Bank Response
China's new home prices fell for the first time this year in July, data showed on Wednesday. The Chinese central bank lowered its policy rate on Tuesday, after a long run of weak figures, but investors have so far been unimpressed by the response. News that a leading Chinese trust firm has missed repayments added to fears the country's property crisis would have a wider impact.
Currency Markets: Sterling Rises and Dollar Dips
In currency markets, sterling picked up after data showed that Britain's inflation fell in July but the core measure came in slightly higher than expected. It was last up 0.39% at $1.275. The dollar index, which measures the currency against six major peers, was down 0.1% at 103.14, ending a run of four straight daily increases. Investors have bought the safe-haven dollar on the back of strong U.S. economic data and rising concerns about China.
Federal Reserve Insights: Anticipation of Interest Rate Announcement
Markets will get a sense of the Fed's thinking on interest rates at 1800 GMT (2 p.m. ET) when the minutes from July's decision are released. The Fed raised rates by 25 basis points to a 5.25% to 5.5% range at the meeting. Traders think the Fed has probably finished raising rates. Analysts from TD Securities expect the minutes to reflect policy discussions among Fed officials regarding the possibility of pausing going forward.
U.S. Treasury and Oil Markets: Yield and Crude Rebound
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note was at 4.199% on Wednesday, after hitting a more than nine-month high of 4.274% in the previous session. U.S. crude oil and Brent crude both rebounded slightly after a Tuesday selloff, climbing 0.16% and 0.1%, respectively.