Wednesday November 2nd


FOMC statement, earnings deluge in the spotlight for Wall Street; US election eyed

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Wednesday, as investors prepared for more earnings from top corporates, while awaiting the latest decision from the U.S. central bank. On Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee is expected to conclude the second day of its two-day monetary policy meeting, and release its latest statement on the state of the U.S. economy. Investors will be keeping an eye on the meeting for any signals as to when the central bank could raise interest rates. The FOMC's statement is due out at 2 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, leading corporates are set to announce their latest earnings reports on Wednesday, with Facebook and 21st Century Fox among the firms set to report. Alibaba and Time Warner reported quarterly results before the bell. While the U.S. central bank and earnings should be the talk of the town this week, these could all be eclipsed by news emerging out of the U.S. election. With less than a week to go, investors are paying close attention to the news coming out of the FBI and its investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server. The latest on that front is the moves seen in the U.S. dollar. The currency fell after news emerged that Republican candidate Donald Trump was gaining momentum ahead of the vote, with polls on Tuesday putting Trump ahead by 1-2 percentage points. However, Clinton held a five-percentage-point in a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll published on Monday. Aside from the Fed statement, investors digested the ADP employment report, which showed a gain of 147,000 jobs last month, well below a Reuters estimate of 165,000. Mortgage Applications dropped 1.2 percent. On the oil front, prices fell into the red on Wednesday after a report by the American Petroleum Institute showed a surprise build in inventories, resurfacing concerns over a supply glut. U.S. crude was standing around $46.10 per barrel at 8:19 a.m. ET, while Brent hovered around $47.68. European stocks were in negative territory during the morning session, while Asia-Pacific indexes closed lower overnight. In the previous session. Japan's Nikkei 225 ended down 1.76 percent, or 308.07 points, at 17,134.68, likely due to the stronger yen which is seen as a safe haven currency. The yen strengthened against the greenback, fetching 103.86 a dollar as of 1:57 pm HK/SIN, compared to 104 levels seen on Tuesday. In South Korea, the Kospi closed down 1.42 percent, or 28.45 points, at 1,978.94. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.44 percent as of 3:09 pm local time. Mainland China's Shanghai composite was down 0.62 percent, or 19.48 points, at 3,102.97, while the Shenzhen composite slipped 0.63 percent, or 13.06 points, at 2,060.05. U.S. markets closed in the red too. Gold rallied to a one-month high on Wednesday as intensifying concerns over the outcome of the U.S. election knocked stocks and the dollar lower and burnished the appeal of precious metals as a haven from risk. Spot gold was up 0.7 percent at $1,297.76 an ounce at 8:55 am EDT. Bullion touched its highest since Oct. 4 at $1293.10 per ounce. U.S. gold futures rose 0.8 percent at $1,298.90 per ounce, after earlier touching a one-month high at $1,294.10.