Thursday September 21st


Futures point to lower open on Wall Street after Fed sticks with tightening plan

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Thursday morning, after the Federal Reserve opted to start shrinking its balance sheet and signaled one more interest rate hike this year. On the data front, initial claims and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's Business index for September were both to be reported at around 8:30 a.m. ET, while the Federal Finance Housing Agency (FHFA) home price index and leading indicators are both due out later on Thursday morning. On the earnings front, Manchester United and Scholastic are both poised to release their latest earnings figures before the bell. While the Fed's statement on Wednesday was widely expected, it was a little more hawkish than traders had anticipated, causing the 10-year Treasury yield to jump higher. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 41.79 points to close at a record 22,412.59. The S&P 500 closed 0.06 percent higher to settle at 2,508.24, a new record. Industrials and materials shares both hit intraday all-time highs during the session. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was around 0.25 percent higher on Thursday morning. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.23 percent lower, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 0.18 percent higher. In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $56.13 a barrel on Thursday morning, down 0.28 percent, while U.S. crude was around $50.43 a barrel, down 0.51 percent. Oil prices slipped on Thursday amid news of rising crude inventories and production in the U.S. as well as a stronger dollar. Gold fell to its lowest in nearly four weeks on Thursday as the Federal Reserve signaled it was on track to raise U.S. interest rates again in December, driving the dollar to two-month highs versus the yen. The metal is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, which boost the cost of holding non-yielding bullion relative to other assets, while lifting the dollar, in which it is priced. Spot gold was down 0.6 percent at $1,293.01 an ounce at 1210 GMT, having earlier touched its lowest since late August at $1,291.25. U.S. gold futures for December delivery were down $20.40 an ounce at $1,296. The metal has pulled back more than $60 an ounce since hitting its highest in more than a year earlier this month at $1,357.54.