Markets

Stocks Slip as Focus Turns to Jackson Hole

Stocks Slip as Focus Turns to Jackson Hole

Analysts are divided as to whether or not Mario Draghi, the ECB President, will drop hints on a policy shift at this week's Jackson Holy symposium of central bankers. The annual event is a traditional spot for central bankers to set the agenda for the final stretch of the year.

Although Yellen was initially expected to shed light on the market hopes of another interest rate hike, the recent Fed meeting dampened these hopes while European Central Bank President Draghi is also expected to not announce new policies during the conference.

Emerging economies' debt in euros has shot to record highs thanks to European Central Bank largesse, and yet an approaching end to this generosity won't necessarily inflict the kind of pain that markets once suffered at the hands of the U.S. Fed.

The US dollar index fell to its lowest level in more than a week overnight, with the euro one of the main beneficiaries.

Trading activity may remain somewhat subdued, however, with another quiet day on the USA economic front keeping some traders on the sidelines.

"The two stars of the gathering will undoubtedly be Mario Draghi and Janet Yellen", said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.

Mr Draghi's comments will still be scoured for any sign that the central bank boss may be willing to start unwinding the ECB's asset purchasing programme. Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields.

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The major averages eventually ended the session mixed.

The US June 30 earnings season has nearly exhausted itself - a few retailers such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Guess?, Dollar Tree, Burlington Stores, Tiffany, American Eagle, Lowes Cos, JCrew and Williams Sonoma are expected to report.

With positioning getting so stretched most major institutions have been calling for a bigger dip in EUR/USD, but so far things haven't played out as expected.

In late morning trading, the dollar fell 0.4 percent against the yen to 108.73 yen.

Fujitsu rose 0.6 percent on a Nikkei report that the company is looking to sell its mobile phone business amid stiff competition. If anything inflation is still weak in many economies and the "transitory" description of price growth heard earlier this year from Ms Yellen and the Fed is no longer the case, weak price growth is now a fact.

BHP Billiton rose 28.5p to 1,394.5p after swinging to a full year operating profit of 11.8 billion USA dollars (£9.2 billion), and announcing it was offloading its USA shale business amid floundering global energy prices. After a decade of low-interest rates and bond buying, a process known as quantitative easing, the Jackson Hole summit could be a platform to convince markets they can safely wean the world off cheap money.

But even then overall emerging borrowers' euro debt is dwarfed by the $1.7 trillion they owe in dollars.


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