Markets react to Fed’s rate hike, Trump is being investigated.
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U.S. President Donald Trump is being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller for possible obstruction of justice, according to a report from the Washington Post citing unidentified officials.
Mueller is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
Former FBI Director James Comey told Congress last week he believes he was fired by Trump to undermine the agency's Russia probe and WaPo’s sources indicated that the obstruction of justice investigation began in the days following the firing.
Markets could give extra weight to a series of data out on Thursday after the Federal Reserve (Fed) hiked rates and Fed chair Janet Yellen said the central bank expected the economy to expand at a moderate pace and that recent declines in inflation were transitory.
At 12:30 GMT the weekly jobless claims will be out as well as reads on manufacturing from both the Philadelphia and New York regions for the month of June as well as import and export prices for May.
Ahead of the data and while keeping an eye on political concerns surrounding the report of the Trump investigation, the USD moved higher on Thursday.
Gold prices were under pressure on Thursday, slipping toward a 3-week low after the Federal Reserve hiked rates and maintained plans to go ahead with another increase by year-end.
The Fed raised interest rates for the second time this year at the conclusion of its policy meeting on Wednesday, putting it in a range between 1.0%-1.25%.
The precious metal is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates as they boost the dollar in which it is priced.
Oil traded lower as well on Thursday as data out the prior session showed U.S crude stockpiles shrank by less than anticipated, while gasoline inventories increased.
The figures underlined fears over a global supply glut sparked by worries that rising U.S. shale output is offsetting agreed production cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC members.
U.S. crude oil futures fell 0.31% to $44.59 at 9:55 GMT, while Brent oil lost 0.11% to $46.95.
Following the Fed’s decision to hike interest rates by 25 basis points in the prior session, markets’ focus shifted to the Bank of England of Thursday.
The U.K. monetary authority will announce its rate decision at 11:00 GMT on Thursday, with analysts expecting no change in policy.
Market players expect BoE policymakers to strike a cautious tone in the wake of last week's shock parliamentary election results, which denied any party a majority and fomented a sense of political chaos just days before Brexit talks begin.
The GBP was under pressure Thursday as the release of downbeat U.K. retail sales data earlier weighed on the pound and investors looked ahead to the BoE policy decision.
Elsewhere, the Swiss National Bank said it was keeping its benchmark interest rate unchanged at -0.75%, in line with expectations, and reiterated that the Swiss franc (CHF) was overvalued.
The Bank of Japan was also on deck and expected to keep policy on hold in a release expected for around 3:00 GMT Friday.