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US dollar up as Fed expected to confirm rate hike this year

US stocks rose sharply on Tuesday as the Chinese stock market stabilized and corporate reports beat expectations. The US dollar edged higher, with the ICE US dollar index, a measure of dollar’s strength against a basket of six currencies, adding 0.1%. S&P 500 index rose 1.1% to 2091, with the energy sector adding 3% and leading the gains. Today MasterCard Inc., Facebook Inc., Altria Group Inc. and Humana Inc. will report quarterly earnings. The Federal Reserve will release the interest rate statement at the close of two-day meeting today at 19:00 CET. While no change in interest rates is expected today, markets are waiting for clues on rate hike timing and are divided on whether the central bank will raise the rates in September or December for the first time since 2006. Fed Chair Janet Yellen had stated in her July 15 testimony that the central bank will raise interest rates some time later in the year as the economy continues to evolve, the decision being dependent on incoming economic data. Since then the economy has not moved much toward the 2% inflation target and though the labor market has improved the economy is not at full employment yet as Yellen said in her testimony. We believe that the Fed will reaffirm the plans for hiking rates this year, leaving September hike a possibility, but given also the weakness in global economy as evidenced by recent turmoil in Chinese markets December rate hike is more likely. Today at 12:00 CET Mortgage Applications will be released by the Mortgage Bankers’ Associations in US. At 15:00 CET June Pending Home Sales will be released. The tentative outlook is positive. At 15:30 CET US Crude Oil Inventories will be released by Energy Information Administration.

European stocks rebounded on Tuesday amid strong earnings reports and rising merger and acquisition activity as concerns over sell off in China’s markets subsided. The euro weakened against the dollar. The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 1.1% after Monday’s 2.2% drop, Germany’s DAX 30 rose 1.1%, France’s CAC 40 added 1%. Today no important economic data are expected in euro-zone. Tomorrow at 8:55 CET July employment change, unemployment rate will be released in Germany. The tentative outlook is positive. At 9:00 CET ECB will publish the July economic bulletin. Today at 09:30 CET Net Consumer Credit, Mortgage Lending and Mortgage Approvals will be released in UK. The tentative outlook is positive.

Nikkei fell 0.1% today as yen edged higher against the dollar and Fanuc Corp and Tokyo Electron plunged more than 10% after they cut their forecast for the year.

Chinese stocks are edging lower today, showing signs of stabilization after the central bank injected more liquidity into the system, pledging it would take additional monetary easing measures to halt the stock selloff that resulted in more than 8% plunge on Monday.

Oil prices are falling today on oversupply concerns as data showed OPEC production was around 3 million barrels-per-day more than daily demand in the second quarter.

Gold prices are edging higher after ending lower near $1100 an ounce on Tuesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve interest rate decision for clues when the rate hike will happen. A survey from metal consultancy GFMS indicated that demand for gold in the second-quarter fell to its lowest level since 2009 as Chinese demand for the precious metal fell.

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