Markets await the Fed policy decision later today.
Here are 4 tips for today's trading. This will help you decide where you should invest and what to look for:
1. Fed announcement is coming
The Federal Reserve’s policy announcement loses some of its normal weight on markets today with a 25 basis point hike already priced in with odds at 91%.
In that light, the focus will be on the updated economic projections, particularly the dot plot that shows members’ expectations for future changes to interest rates, and remarks from Fed chair Janet Yellen’s follow-up press conference as markets attempt to gauge to what degree the U.S. central bank may have become more aggressive with respect to monetary policy.
Analysts are currently debating whether policymakers will stick with their outlook for just three more hikes this year or whether they will eventually opt to tighten four times with the possibilities including the possible start of balance sheet normalization.
2. Dutch elections kick off
Investors were focusing on the Dutch election that kicked off today, which is being watched as a case for the spread of populism in Europe, particularly ahead of next month's French election and with an eye on Germany’s later in September.
Opinion polls have suggested that Dutch nationalist Geert Wilders' right-wing Freedom Party, which wants to take the Netherlands out of the European Union and stop Muslim immigration, has lost its lead to more mainstream opponents.
However, a diplomatic standoff with Turkey overshadowed the final stretch of campaigning and influence voting in Wilders' favor with less than 24 hours to polling day, prompting investors to remain weary over the possibility of a Brexit or Trump-style shock result.
Results aren’t expected to arrive until the early hours of Thursday and no party is likely to win a majority meaning it could take weeks for a coalition to be agreed.
Still, the outcome will be closely watched for its implications on growing anti-EU sentiment and its effect on the larger economic bloc that is already struggling with the U.K.’s decision to abandon the group.
3. Economics updates
The Fed will have some final data points to digest Wednesday before making its decision official.
Particular attention is likely to focus on February’s annual inflation at 12:30 GMT which is expected to hit 2.7%, though the core reading is expected to ease slightly to 2.2%.
At the same time, February retail sales are expected to tick up slightly while markets will keep an eye on manufacturing activity in the New York region during March
In lesser reports out at 14:00 GMT, investors will receive information on January’s business inventories, along with the NAHB housing market index for March.
Meanwhile, Oil prices were higher during European morning hours on Wednesday, bouncing off the lowest level in around four months after industry data showed a surprise drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles.
4. Brexit news sets the tone
With the Fed decision hovering in the background, Brexit news continued to exert its influence over Forex trading, with sterling bouncing back Wednesday on a YouGov poll that showed 57% of Scottish voters would prefer to remain inside the U.K.
Scottish politicians had increased pressure on Britain, calling for a new independence referendum as the U.K. presses forward with its plan to exit the European Union.
Adding support to the pound The Times reported that its own “shadow monetary policy committee”, which provides a viewpoint on what the Bank of England should do, showed three members arguing for a rate hike to fight inflation.