SYDNEY, Dec 19- Asian markets looked set for another upbeat session on Friday after Wall Street boasted its biggest two-day advance since late 2011 amid relief the Federal Reserve was in no rush to start hiking interest rates. Brent was quoted $1.37 lighter at $59.81 a barrel, while U.S. crude was hovering around $55.00 after losing more than $2 on Thursday.» Read More
The Federal Reserve is still expected to lower benchmark borrowing costs later today despite unexpected signs of strength in the economy.
The economic numbers today indicate the difficulty facing the Fed: 1) Third quarter GDP estimates, at 3.9% (best in 6 quarters!), was well above expectations. 2) October ADP, a read on private sector job growth, surprises on the upside--106,000 vs the consensus of 58,000 and up from a revised 61,000 in September.
A surge in euro zone inflation in October beat all expectations, data showed, raising the odds for a rise in European Central Bank interest rates despite weakening sentiment and sending the euro up against the dollar.
Biotechnology company Genentech is delaying a plan which would make it harder for doctors to use its cancer drug Avastin as an inexpensive treatment for eye afflictions, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
The Bank of Japan left its policy rate unchanged at 0.5 percent on Wednesday, as widely expected, reflecting caution among central bankers over market uncertainty and the economic fallout from U.S. subprime woes.
Australian businesses were busy borrowing in September despite interest rates at decade highs, while a jump in approvals to build new homes provided a tentative sign of a recovery in housing construction.
Credit crankiness hangs around the stock market as the Fed winds up its rate meeting Wednesday. Investors are counting on a rate cut, and without one, the market could see some significant selling.
All eyes are on the Fed, as investors await the Federal Open Market Committee's Wednesday announcement on interest rates. Many analysts anticipate a fed funds rate cut of 25 basis points.
Fed policy-makers began meeting as financial markets continued to bet that the central bank will cut interest rates to shore up the faltering housing and credit markets.
The dollar fell to a record low against the euro for the third consecutive session on Tuesday, a day ahead of the outcome of a Federal Reserve meeting at which an interest rate cut is expected.
A decidedly negative tone has replaced Monday's complacency as the Fed starts its two-day meeting today. A Wall Street Journal article detailing why a rate cut isn't a sure thing has put traders on edge and cast doubt about the cut to the Fed funds rate that most of them think is a "sure thing."
U.S. consumer confidence declined for the third month in a row in October to its lowest level in two years on growing concerns about weakening business conditions and the impact that could have on the job market.
The United States is strongly committed to a strong U.S. dollar and financial markets there are recovering from the subprime loan crisis even if the housing market has yet to touch bottom, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said on Tuesday.
The Federal Reserve is expected to lower interest rates again this week as insurance against the threat that declining home prices and higher borrowing costs will push the economy into recession.
A Federal Reserve interest rate cut this week is no sure thing and officials are not seriously considering a half-point reduction in overnight rates, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday without citing sources.
China must continue to liberalize its exchange rate regime and key areas of the economy to ward off overheating but should be cautious about opening strategic sectors to foreign investment, a top official said on Tuesday.
The dollar sank to another record against the euro on Monday, trading at as much as $1.44 against the 13-nation currency for the first time, as markets anticipated a likely interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve this week.
The subprime fall-out continues to claim more victims. Merrill's came as a blow - and in what is now becoming predictable for financial companies trying to get ahead of the news agenda - UBS rushed out 24hrs early the bad news on exposure and trading outlook.
Major European markets ended in positive territory Monday, as anticipation of lower U.S. interest rates helped sentiment.
China will stay the course on monetary tightening and keep a lid on money supply and credit growth, a top central bank official said.