Fed rate decision hangs over markets

Much ado about nothing as the City prepares for the latest Federal Reserve rate decision.

Source: Bloomberg
  • Poor VW figures fail to derail the DAX
  • Lloyds and Barclays keep the focus on the banking sector
  • Heineken figures give investors reason to cheer

Figures from Volkswagen, which cover the period since the emissions scandal broke, have resulted in the car giant posting its first quarterly loss in 15 years. Being forward looking, investors have actually decided to focus on the positive aspects, with the shares rising so far this morning.

Sales expectations for the year ahead are still quite robust, although the decision to suspend the launch of the latest diesel models in the Japanese market, a decision already taken in the US, does set a worrying precedent.

Once again the City has turned its attention to the banking sector as Lloyds has posted falling third-quarter profits, while at the same time reminding everyone of its previous indiscretions with a further £500 million being allocated to the mis-selling of PPI bringing the total to £13.9 billion.

Barclays has done Lloyds a favour shifting some of the focus away from its results onto the announcement that ex-JP Morgan investment banker Jes Staley has now been confirmed as the new CEO. On initial inspection this appointment looks like the board has gone full circle, going back to a man that is more Bob Diamond than Antony Jenkins.

Fed chair Janet Yellen may well wish to increase rates prior to year’s end but the most recent US data has made a move look much less likely. With only the statement and no press conference tonight this decision could be ‘much ado about nothing’.

Regardless of the worries markets might have about Chinese growth this has not negatively affected sales of iPhones to the Asian powerhouse as once again Apple has been able to post much better figures than had been expected.

Twitter on the other hand, continues to struggle with converting its sizeable user base into a firm revenue stream. Twitter looks to be one of the few exceptions to the rule but with almost half of the S&P 500 firms having posted results the index is on track for 75% of firms to beat market expectations.

We are expecting the Dow Jones to open 33 points higher from Tuesday’s close at 17,581.

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