Fed minutes considered dovish; World markets mainly positive
Wall Street closed fairly flat Wednesday as the markets considered a decline in oil prices after recent gains, and the Fed minutes were deemed to be mainly dovish. Thursday’s trading in Asia has ended mixed with Hong Kong and Tokyo outperforming others. In Europe markets are showing gains after German export data and a surge in car sales boosted sentiment. Greece is due to make a payment to creditors amid speculation that Russia may be prepared to make advance payments on a deal that would see Greece shipping Russian gas to Europe as part of a pipeline extension.
US stock futures are trending lower. Oil is trending higher (Brent $56.68, WTI $51.36 at 5.05am ET). Gold is trending lower.
Jobless claims at 8.30am ET
Bloomberg consumer confidence at 9.45am ET
Wholesale trade at 10.00am ET
EIA natural gas report at 10.30am ET
Ceres, Joe’s Jeans and Walgreens Boots are among the companies reporting results today.
Interest rates could rise in June; it’s all about the data
The FOMC minutes yesterday had a mainly dovish tone but an interest rate rise in June cannot be ruled out. Some of the data isn’t where officials would want it to be, changing the expectations of some analysts. Future traders have moved their predictions forward from December to October. The minutes show that some of the Fed committee want to start the increases earlier but make the increments smaller.
Oil outlook still weak
Oil prices fell 6 per cent Wednesday but have since reversed the fall. However the outlook is still weak as US output is surging and Saudi Arabia hit record production levels in March. Even with evidence of some stronger demand in Asia the glut is outpacing it. US export bans on crude are slowly lifting; and with an Iranian deal on its nuclear aims looking likely there will be more new supply, although probably not until next year.
Fastest growing business in California? Water delivery services
Water delivery services are springing up in California as enterprising businesses seek to offer a solution to the state’s 4-year drought. Residents and businesses are getting increasingly concerned about supplies especially now that mandatory water restrictions have been announced. Delivery services are now filling up with water from city-owned fire hydrants in areas where there is more water and shipping it to those who desperately need supplies. Other water-related services are also booming; those that help householders find underground water sources for example.