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US pre-open: Futures point to gains ahead of FOMC minutes

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Wednesday 21 Aug 2019

US pre-open: Futures point to gains ahead of FOMC minutes

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street futures had stocks opening higher on Wednesday as investors awaited the minutes from the last meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.
As of 1200 BST, Dow futures were up 0.62%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.71% and 0.84% firmer, respectively.

Stocks closed lower on Tuesday, snapping a three-day winning streak, as market participants were focussed on the state of US-China relations and the outlook for monetary policy.

Investors will be looking ahead to the latest minutes from the Federal Reserve later in the session with traders hoping that they will be able to glean hints as to what the future holds in store for monetary policy in the US.

Back in July, the Fed announced a 25 basis point cut to official short-term interest rates in what it called a "mid-cycle adjustment". However, shortly after the interest rate decision, US-China trade tensions increased, as did speculation that the Fed would soon cut rates again.

And some analysts were hoping that the FOMC might do so by 50 basis points instead of 25 when it next convened on 17-18 September.

Elsewhere, Donald Trump was taking some time to take shots at the European Union, saying "dealing with the European Union is very difficult."

"We have all the cards in this country because all we have to do is tax their cars and they'd give us anything we wanted because they send millions of Mercedes over. They send millions of BMWs over," said Trump, who was due to meet with EU leaders later in the week at the G-7 meeting in Biarritz, France.

On the data front, existing home sales were due out at 1500 BST, while the Fed minutes will be published at 1900 BST.

In corporate news, Lowe's, Target, L Brands and Nordstrom will update investors throughout the course of the day.

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