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Powell’s dovish comments lift global markets

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Fed chair Powell’s dovish comments and optimism US-China trade talks, which start today in Beijing, will help resolve differences between world’s two largest economies supported global equity markets in the first week of 2019. Powell’s comment “wouldn't hesitate to change if Fed came to conclusion balance sheet was problem” signaled the central bank may slow or stop the monetary tightening depending on economic data. The SP 500 rebounded 2.0% while the ICE US dollar index slid 0.2%.

Almost all major stock indexes ended higher. Nasdaq composite recorded the biggest gain: it rallied 2.3%. Only the British Pound and Japanese yen didn’t reverse previous week’s dynamics against US dollar out of six major currency pairs while the range of fluctuations rose. The Canadian dollar was the leader in terms of percentage change: it gained 2.0% against the US dollar.

Investors all over the world this week will be watching for the outcome of two-day US-China trade talks that start today in Beijing. A progress in negotiations will further boost markets by removing a major downside risk for global equities.

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