Small Business Index Falls
STOCK INDEX FUTURES
Stock index futures are lower.
U.S. small business confidence fell in April due to worries about the near-term economic outlook and worker shortages, according to a survey released by the National Federation of Independent Business. Its Small Business Optimism Index dropped 1.1 points to 89.0 last month when 89.7 was expected. This was the 6th consecutive month that the index remained below the 49-year average of 98.
Stock index futures have performed very well recently despite a variety of bearish news.
The euro currency Is lower despite comments from Governing Council member Martins Kazaks when he said investors should not count on the European Central Bank ending interest rate increases in July.
The British pound is lower on news that he Halifax house price index showed a slight increase of 0.1% year-on-year in April 2023, which is a significant decline from the 1.6% advance in the previous month. The annual growth rate is now at its lowest level since December 2012, falling substantially from its peak of 12.5% in June 2022.
Traders are anticipating the Bank of England will hike interest rates by 25 basis points to 4.5% on Thursday. Analysts are predicting interest rates will increase further to approximately 4.80% later this year.
Household spending in Japan fell 1.9% in March from a year ago against economists’ median forecast for a 0.4% increase and following a 1.6% gain in February.
Australia’s government expects GDP will grow by approximately 3.25% in the current fiscal year, but forecasts growth to slow to around 1.5% in the year ending June 2024.
Longer term, interest rate differentials suggest lower prices for the U.S. dollar and higher prices for the euro currency.
INTEREST RATE MARKET FUTURES
Futures are higher in light of lower stock index futures.
Federal Reserve speakers today are Philip Jefferson at 7:30 and John Williams at 11:05.
The Treasury will auction three-year notes today.
Most likely the FOMC will keeps its fed funds rate unchanged at its June 14 policy meeting.
The technicals and fundamentals remain supportive.
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