US stocks fell sharply on Wednesday as better than expected job openings in July were seen as increasing the likelihood of interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve at its September 16-17 policy meeting. The dollar edged higher against yen while the ICE US dollar index, which measures dollar’s strength against a basket of six currencies, remained essentially flat. S&P 500 dropped 1.4% with all 10 main sectors finishing lower, led by energy, consumer staples and healthcare stocks. US Labor Department data showed job openings surged to a record high of 5.75 million in July as the number of positions waiting to be filled jumped by 430,000, the biggest gain since April 2010. This suggests tightening of the labor market as it is getting harder to find qualified workers. Investors interpreted the report as supporting the case for raising the interest rate sooner, and according to CME Group’s FedWatch traders are pricing in a 25.7% chance the central bank will increase rates this month, up from 21.43% the day before job openings report was released. Apple fell 1.9%, dragging stock indexes lower after the new iPhones with 3-D touch technology unveiled at the hardware event didn’t have the expected impact as were mostly seen as upgrades to existing devices. About 7.2 billion shares traded hands on US exchanges, in line with the three-month average. Today at 13:30 CET July Wholesale Trade Sales and August Import Price Index will be published. At the same time Initial Jobless Claims and Continuing Claims will be released in US. The tentative outlook is positive for the dollar. At 15:00 CET August Wholesale Inventories will be released. The tentative outlook is positive. At 15:30 CET Natural Gas Storage Change will be released by the Energy Information Administration. And at 16:00 CET US crude oil inventories will come out.
European stocks advanced on Wednesday for third session in a row as miners rose after authorities in China and Japan announced plans for additional stimulus for their faltering economies. Euro edged higher against the dollar. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 2%, DAX 30 rose 1.6%. Ryanair was the best performer as it jumped 5.3 % after the budget airline raised its annual profit forecast by 26%. Volvo AB rallied 3.8% following a ratings upgrade to neutral from sell by UBS. GlaxoSmithKline PLC fell 1.2% after a failed clinical trial of its new inhaler for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. No important economic data are expected today in euro-zone. Today at 13:00 CET Bank of England rate decision will be released, the interest rate is expected to be left unchanged at 0.5%.
Nikkei fell 2.5% today as investors booked the gains from previous day’s rally after data showed machinery orders fell for a second month in July, spurring concerns lower investment will undermine a recovery from an economic contraction in the second quarter. Exporters fell, Toyota Motor declined 3.4% and Honda Motor Co lost 2.4%. Tomorrow at 00:50 CET third quarter Business Survey Index will be published by the Ministry of Finance in Japan.
Oil futures prices are falling today after dropping 3.9% on Wednesday following the Energy Information Administration monthly report which cut price forecasts for this year and next.