Markets hold their breath Pre-FOMC

The rangebound lateral move we have seen in EUR/USD ably demonstrates the 'will they won’t they' conundrum that has had currency traders debating the start date of a US interest rate rise. 

The Federal Reserve
Source: Bloomberg

The importance of tonight’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes has not been lost on traders as a willingness to sit on their hands rather than risk exposure has triggered a quieter than normal morning session.

Up until mid-morning the mining sector had been weighing on the FTSE. That was until a Goldman Sachs-inspired recovery began, with upgrades in the likes of Antofagasta, Glencore and Rio Tinto dragging the sector upwards.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals’ shares have bounced following the appeasement of the FDA with its Portuguese manufacturing facility. A year on from its initial warning the US regulators have now given the operation its approval.

Barclays' new CEO Jes Staley has been given a quick reminder of the issues facing the bank as once again historical regulatory indiscretions surface. An anticipated settlement of $100 million for the rigging of foreign exchange markets to New York financial regulators will no doubt confirm that the first cut is the cheapest. 

With the third-quarter reporting season now over there is an absence of corporate data to distract traders, but with OPEC’s annual conference in Vienna only a few weeks away this afternoon’s crude oil inventories will be watched that much more closely.

Today's FOMC minutes will be released two hours before the close of the US markets, leaving equities on both sides of the Atlantic cautious for much of the day.

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 30 points lower, at 17,459.

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