18 JULY 2013: FED OPEN FOR FLEXIBILITY
DAILY MARKET REVIEWS
by Arne Treholt Vice-President of Business Development and Investments
Federal Reserve (FED) Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress yesterday that he still expects FED to start scaling back on its massive USD 85 Billion monthly bond buying later this year. The door was, however, left open for changes if the economic outlook so requires: “Our asset purchases depend on economic and financial developments, but they are by no means on a preset course”, Bernanke stated. His comments contained something for everybody, and gives FED plenty of room for maneuver.
His remarks pushed US stock, futures and bond prices following the release of the statement. The Dollar softened initially somewhat against the Euro and Japanese Yen, but is now slightly stronger: EUR/USD stands at 1.3095 and USD/JPY has again crept above the 100 level trading at 100.11 Yen a Dollar. Oil prices are keeping the level seen in July. NYMEX, New York crude, stands at USD 106.33 and Brent at 108.44 a barrel. Gold is fifteen Dollar down at USD 1276 an ounce.
During the question/answer session in Congress, Bernanke was praised by Republicans and Democrats alike for his tenure as FED Chairman. Bernanke is most likely going to resign when his term expires on January 31st. Many Republicans have privately blamed Bernanke for his aggressive monetary easing which they claim helped President Obama’s re-election. Some Republicans repeated these complaints as they warmly acknowledged his services.
Bernanke’s pledge to keep monetary easing for the foreseeable future, supported global market sentiments. Asian shares fell, however, on Thursday due to concerns over available financing for property developers in China. China introduced some weeks ago stricter control with the explosive “shadow banking” system, and investors fear the impact of these controls. Indexes fell all over Asia with the exception of the Japanese Nikkei which added 0.4 %. The Dollar was steady against a basket of six currencies, DXY.
Copyright: MAYZUS Investment Company Ltd