Fed keeps markets on edge

Markets on alert for any guidance on when Central Bank will look to wind down bond buying programme

Global markets mostly stuck to tight ranges this morning, with uncertainty about the future of the US monetary stimulus programme keeping investors on edge. Photo: Bloomberg

Global markets mostly stuck to tight ranges this morning, with uncertainty about the future of the US monetary stimulus programme keeping investors on edge. Photo: Bloomberg

Tue, Jun 18, 2013, 08:55

Global markets mostly stuck to tight ranges this morning, with uncertainty about the future of the US monetary stimulus programme keeping investors on edge as the Federal Reserve prepared to meet.

The US central bank kicks off a two-day meeting later in the day and markets are on alert for any guidance on when and how quickly it will look to wind down its bond buying programme.

After a calmer day on Asian markets, European shares opened down 0.3 per cent, giving back some of the previous day’s gains.

“I don’t think we will get any great retreat from the expectation that tapering (slowing of bond purchases) is really quite imminent,” said Nick Beecroft senior market analyst at Saxo Bank.

“I think the Fed is secretly sitting with its fingers crossed, hoping that the froth continues to be skimmed off asset markets. I don’t think they will be bothered at all if the S&P500 or other risk markets fall 5 or 10 per cent, as long as it didn’t happen in a (single) day.”

The dollar hovered above a two-month low against the yen while comments from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi that the bank remained ready to cut rates again if needed added some extra pressure to an already slightly lower euro.

In the debt markets, German Bund futures dipped in line with US Treasuries on the expectations the Fed may signal it is moving closer to trimming its bond purchases.

Analysts also had one eye on the release of Germany’s ZEW business sentiment survey at 09.00 GMT.

Reuters