Wednesday September 20th


Futures point to mixed open on Wall Street ahead of Federal Reserve announcement

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a modestly higher open on Wednesday morning, as traders appeared to adopt a wait-and-see approach ahead of monetary policy guidance from the Federal Reserve. Dow futures traded 5 points lower, with share of both Visa and Pfizer climbing in the premarket. S&P and Nasdaq futures, meanwhile, were unchanged and down 2.25 points respectively. While the Fed is not expected to raise rates following its two-day meeting, many market participants believe the central bank will announce the unwinding of its $4.5 trillion portfolio. The U.S. central bank is due to announce its decision at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Investors will also see existing home sales for August released at around 10 a.m. ET. On the earnings front, General Mills earnings missed expectations, driving shares down 4 percent in premarket trade. Herman Miller is due to report after the market close. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was little changed on Tuesday morning. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.28 percent higher, while the Nikkei in Japan closed up by 0.05 percent. In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $55.79 a barrel on Tuesday morning, up 1.18 percent, while U.S. crude was around $50.06 a barrel, up 1.17 percent. Oil prices rose on Wednesday after the Iraqi oil minister suggested OPEC and its partners were debating whether to extend or deepen supply cuts in order to clear a global overhang. Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday, aided by a weaker dollar ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy announcement that could signal whether it will raise interest rates for a third time this year. A threat by U.S. President Donald Trump to "totally destroy" North Korea also helped to push the dollar lower while stimulating demand for gold, seen as a safe investment in times of uncertainty. A weaker dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of other currencies. Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,313.44 an ounce by, having hit a 2½-week low on Monday at $1,304.10. U.S. gold futures for December delivery were up 0.6 percent at $1,317.80.