Monday September 19th


Wall Street looks set for a boost from higher oil prices

U.S. stock index futures ticked higher on Monday, as European stocks rallied on the back of a gain in oil prices. U.S. light crude futures rose by more than 1 percent to $43.67 per barrel early on Wednesday, boosted by media reports suggesting that major oil-producing countries could be close to a deal to stabilize crude output. Strong oil prices may support energy stocks on Monday. The first day of the week will be a quiet one for both U.S. economic data and earnings. The NAHB housing market index is due, along with results from Ascena Retail Group. Later in the week, all eyes with be on the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy announcement on Wednesday at the end of its two-day September meeting. Market consensus is for the Fed to hold its base rate at 0.25-0.50 percent. Like the Fed, the Bank of Japan will start its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday, with an announcement the day after. The U.S. dollar fell against a basket of currencies on Wednesday, but held most of last week's gains, with traders positioning ahead of the Fed's meeting. New York City remained on high alert after an explosion in Manhattan injured 29 people in what State Governor Andrew Cuomo described as a "clear act of terrorism." A separate bomb device was later found in Elizabeth, New Jersey, which exploded when examined by a police robot. All three major U.S. stock indexes closed lower on Friday. A technical glitch halted trading in the Australian stock market for most of the session on Monday, but other Asia markets gained ahead of central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan later in the week. With the Japanese market also closed Monday for a public holiday, that dampened interest around the region, but the rest of the markets in Asia were mostly higher. In South Korea, the Kospi closed up 16.42 points, or 0.82 percent, at 2,015.78, after being closed on Friday for a public holiday. Taiwan's Taiex climbed 250.58 points, or 2.81 percent, to 9,152.88, amid gains in stocks tied to Apple's supply chain. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was up 0.83 percent in late-afternoon trade. On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai composite closed up 23.76 points, or 0.79 percent, at 3,026.61, and the Shenzhen composite gained 21.03 points, or 1.06 percent, to 2,001.29. Gold prices rose on Monday as the dollar slipped but gains were capped by nervousness ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting and a rise in U.S. government bond yields. Spot gold was 0.3 percent higher at $1,313.85 an ounce at 8:14 ET. U.S. gold futures rose 0.5 percent to $1,317.10 an ounce.