Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Congress yesterday than an increase in interest rates could be “appropriate relatively soon”. Her comments boosted the dollar which was last seen trading at 110.72 JPY as of 8:35 GMT. A rise in interest rates would also signal that the U.S. economic recovery is gaining momentum and would hurt all dollar denominated commodities such as oil and gold which have plunged. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen also signaled that she wasn’t about to resign in the face of Donald Trump’s surprise election victory last week. Indicatively, she stated that she intends to stay in the job until her term expires in January 2018.
European stock markets opened on a sluggish note but are slowly making their way up with most indices trading slightly higher. The dollar hovered near 1-year highs against the euro today and gold prices hit a 5month record low. The greenback was boosted by upbeat U.S. data and hawkish comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen all of which added to expectations that the Fed will raise rates next month. In today’s early European market trading Germany’s DAX edged 0.3 percent higher at 10711.00. U.K.’s FTSE retreated by 0.2 percent at 6780.90, France’s CAC 40 added 0.1 percent at 4532.50 while the Euro Stoxx 50 edged 0.1 percent higher at 3042.00 as of 8:35 GMT.
Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Friday, following some positive cues overnight from Wall Street following upbeat U.S. economic data and a number of hawkish comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. The chair commented before Congress’ Joint Economic Committee, that an increase in interest rates could become appropriate “relatively soon” while she also dismissed speculation she may resign due to criticism from President Donald Trump. Oil prices extended declines as a stronger dollar overshadowed hopes that OPEC members could agree on production cuts.
In today’s Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.6 percent to close at 17967.41, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4 percent to close at5359.42, China A50 lost 0.3 percent to end the day at 10046.60 while Hang Seng added 0.5 percent to close at 22363.00.