ASX200 drifts lower ahead of FOMC statement

The ASX200 is trading is around 10 points lower, at 5834, heading toward the close. The central theme today is one of caution, as investors anticipate the Federal Reserve’s rate decision, FOMC statement and press conference early tomorrow morning.

The ASX200 is trading is around 10 points lower, at 5834, heading toward the close.

The central theme today is one of caution, as investors anticipate the Federal Reserve’s rate decision, FOMC statement and press conference early tomorrow morning.  Given the influence of central bank policy within the current environment, and the US’ position as top dog, this event has the potential to set the tone across all markets globally. Ultimately, it all boils down to a matter of timing - when will the Fed commence the tightening cycle. The recent behaviour of markets suggest that ‘later’ is the preference, despite the fundamental contradiction.

Locally, the equity market has pared losses late in the session.

BHP is a notable outperformer, firming about 1.5% after releasing details on its South32 spinoff. However, there’s not a lot of joy elsewhere. FMG is being punished after revoking its brief debt issue, and further declines in the price of iron ore hasn’t helped either. The property subsector is also noticeably weaker, continuing its recent slide.

The Aussie dollar is steady around 0.7620 USD. However, sparks are likely to fly come tomorrow morning, when Janet Yellen takes centre stage.

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