17 February 2022
World Market – Headlines
- Dollar falls as investors see Fed minutes as less hawkish than feared
- Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as investors monitor Ukraine situation
- Oil slides after France and Iran say closer to a nuclear deal
The Indian rupee is expected to advance against the U.S. currency today, tracking a decline in shorter maturity Treasury yields and the dollar index following minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting.
The rupee is tipped at around 74.98-75.02 at open compared with 75.07 yesterday. The rupee has managed a notable recovery over the last two sessions after having reached an over two-month low of near 75.70. Speculators exiting dollar-long trades amid positive steps by Russia over Ukraine have helped the rupee.
The U.S. dollar index was down on Wednesday, hitting its lowest level since Friday after minutes from the last U.S. Federal Reserve meeting suggested policymakers are not set on a particular pace of interest rate hikes.
According to the January meeting minutes released on Wednesday, Fed officials last month agreed that, with inflation widening its grip on the economy and employment strong, it was time to tighten monetary policy, but also that decisions would depend on a meeting-by-meeting analysis of data.
The dollar index was last down 0.3%, while the euro was up 0.2% at $1.1383 . The U.S. dollar was down 0.4% against the Swiss franc and down 0.2% against the Japanese yen .Sterling was last trading at $1.3593, up 0.44% on the day. Data earlier showed UK inflation hit a nearly 30-year high of 5.5%.
Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Thursday trade as investors continue to monitor the situation surrounding Ukraine. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.38% higher.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan declined 0.37% while the Topix index shed 0.46%. Mainland Chinese stocks declined, with the Shanghai composite falling 0.3% and the Shenzhen component shedding 0.284%. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose about 0.5%. Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.19%.Shares in Australia rose, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.71%.
Oil slid more than 2% in early Asian trade on Thursday after both France and Iran said parties are closer to an agreement to salvage Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, offsetting ongoing concerns over the situation in Ukraine.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was trading down $2.50, or 2.7%, at $91.16 a barrel , after it ended up 1.7% the previous day. Brent crude was trading down $2.43, or 2.6%, at $92.38 after the contract closed up 1.6% in the previous day’s trade.
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