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US equities paused as Powel indicated no impending rate cut plans

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US equity market lost momentum last week after Federal Reserve chairman Powell undermined investors’ expectations of impending rate cuts. Powell told recent lower inflation was “transitory”, opening interpretations that policy makers believed inflation would soon head higher. The S&P 500 added 0.2%while the ICE US dollar index lost 0.6% giving back most of last week gain.

Two out of six major developed market stock indexes ended lower last week. Hang Seng was the top performer: it rallied 1.8%. Australian dollar and Japanese yen out of six major currencies maintained previous week’s dynamics against the US dollar, while the range of major currency pairs’ fluctuations widened slightly as it shifted up. The Pound was the leader in terms of percentage change: it jumped 1.9% against the US dollar.

It is everybody’s guess now whether Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He will arrive in Washington Wednesday as scheduled after president Trump tweeted, expressing his disapproval of Chin’s “attempt to renegotiate” the trade deal, he would more than double tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods by this Friday. The Reserve Bank of Australia meets to set interest rates Tuesday, while New Zealand central bank will announce its decision the next day.

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