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What Will Janet Yellen Do Today?

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It's Fed day, Trump and Clinton win Super Tuesday III, and the U.K. Chancellor unveils his budget. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Fed day

At 2:00 p.m. ET the Federal Reserve will release its post-meeting statement, with Chair Janet Yellen holding a press conference 30 minutes later. While the vast majority - but not all - of economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect no rate change to be announced today, the market will be looking for indications of both when the U.S. central bank will hike next, and how many more rate increases it expects to make this year. The dollar is rising against most of its 16 major peers this morning.


Stock markets are relatively quiet this morning ahead of the Fed decision. Markets in Asia closed lower overnight with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropping 0.7 percent. The Japanese yen fell after Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the Bank of Japan could theoretically lower interest rates to minus 0.5 percent. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was practically unchanged at 9:55 a.m. London time. S&P 500 futures were also unchanged. Investors in the U.S. will be keeping an eye on Valeant to see if there is any sign of a recovery from yesterday's disastrous session.


Yesterday's 'Super Tuesday' presidential primary votes in the U.S. saw Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton make further advances for the respective nominations. After losing to Trump in his home state of Florida, Senator Marco Rubio suspended his campaign. Despite neither leading candidate making a clean sweep of the states in play yesterday, both Clinton and Trump are looking increasingly to be the party candidates.

U.K. budget

At 12:30 p.m. in London, the U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will unveil his annual budget against a backdrop of lower-than-forecast tax revenue and a deteriorating growth outlook. Osborne will also have to be mindful of the coming referendum on European Union membership as he crafts a budget that will be intended to provide maximum impact for minimum cost. The British pound is lower ahead of the announcement. 


Crude is rising this morning after Qatar’s oil minister said there would be a meeting in Doha on April 17 between OPEC and non-OPEC members to resume talks on capping production. Oil futures advanced 2 percent in New York by 10:25 a.m. London time. Peabody Energy Corp., the largest U.S. coal miner, seems to be falling victim to the long coal-price slump, saying this morning that it may not have enough liquidity to continue operating as a going concern.

What we've been reading 

This is what's caught our eye over the last 24 hours.

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