© Reuters. Top 5 things to know today in financial markets
Investing.com – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, June 13:
by a quarter point for a second time this year at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting at 2:00PM ET this afternoon. That would put the fed funds target range in a range between , inching closer to a neutral policy stance.
With the rate hike almost fully priced in, markets are focusing on whether the Fed will hint at the prospect of four rate hikes in 2018 when it releases new forecasts for economic growth and interest rates, known as the .
The probability of four total rate hikes this year, rather than the three currently forecast by the Fed, have strengthened recently amid signs of rising inflation and strong economic growth.
Wednesdays and projections will also be followed by a , which is set to begin at 2:30PM ET.
2. U.S. Stocks Set For Modest Gains At The Open
U.S. stock futures pointed to modest gains at the open, as investors awaited further guidance from the Federal Reserve on the likely trajectory of interest rate hikes this year.
At 5:40AM ET, the blue-chip were up 20 points, or around 0.1%, while the tacked on 3 points, or roughly 0.1%. The tech-heavy indicated a gain of 13 points, or about 0.2%, which would put the benchmark on track to test its record high reached earlier this week.
The earnings calendar will be pretty empty with no notable companies reporting results.
, with investors appearing to shrug off a historic U.S.-North Korea summit.
Elsewhere, in Europe, in quiet mid-morning trade, with the different sectors moving in opposite directions.
Earlier, , though bucked the trend to end with slight gains thanks to a dip in the yen.
3. Dollar Climbs Before Fed Decision
against the and stood tall against the ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting that could give clues on how many more U.S. rate hikes there will be this year.
The , which measures the greenbacks strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.1% at 93.92, the best level since June 5.
Meanwhile, the stood at 2.955%.
Besides the Fed, today's calendar will bring investors the May data on , which is expected to show prices rose 2.8% over the prior year in May, as signs of inflation pressures building in the economy continue to add up.
4. Oil Markets Await Fresh Weekly U.S. Inventory Data
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release its for the week ended June 8 at 10:30AM ET, amid forecasts for an oil-stock drop of 1.4 million barrels.
The data will also offer fresh indications on how fast domestic output levels continue to rise. U.S. crude production – driven by shale extraction – is currently at an all-time high of 10.8 million barrels per day (bpd).
After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories increased by 833,000 barrels last week.
, with futures sliding 24 cents, or around 0.4% to $66.12 per barrel, while London-traded futures were at $75.45 per barrel, down 40 cents, or about 0.6%.
5. Bitcoin's Collapse Accelerates As Selloff Continues
, as the meltdown in the worlds largest digital currency accelerated amid mounting regulatory and security concerns after the weekend hacking of a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange.
was last down around 5%, or $350, at $6,487.70 on the Bitfinex exchange, a level last seen on February 5.
, the worlds second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was down almost 12% at $472.70, its worst level since April 11.
Meanwhile, Ripple's token was trading at $0.53361, down 10% for the day.