Home » Too early to cut interest rates, says Federal Reserve

Too early to cut interest rates, says Federal Reserve

Thanks for joining me. Inflation fell more sharply than expected last month according to the Office for National Statistics.

The consumer prices index fell to 3.4pc in February compared to 4pc in January and December.

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What happened overnight 

Asian markets were mostly higher ahead of expected guidance by the Federal Reserve on the timing of its cuts to interest rates.

Japan’s markets were closed for a holiday. On Tuesday, the Bank of Japan hiked its benchmark interest rate for the first time in 17 years, raising the rate to a range of zero to 0.1pc from minus 0.1pc.

The pound and the US dollar rose against the Japanese yen after the BOJ decision suggested that a wide gap between interest rates with Japan will persist for the foreseeable future. 

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong edged 0.2pc higher to 16,559.77, while the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.5pc at 3,076.67.

China left its benchmark lending rates unchanged on Wednesday, as expected. While the economy is showing signs of improvement, the property market remains precarious.

Elsewhere, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3pc to 7,725.40, while the Kospi in South Korea advanced 1.1pc to 2,685.87, Taiwan’s Taiex gained 0.1pc.

In America, the S&P 500 rose to a record on Tuesday as Wall Street made some of its final moves before hearing what the Federal Reserve will do with interest rates.

The benchmark index rose 0.6pc, to 5,178.51 and topped its all-time high set last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.8pc, to 39,110.76, and the Nasdaq Composite index gained 0.4pc, to 16,166.79.

The yield on 10-year US Treasury bonds dipped to 4.29pc from 4.33pc late on Monday.