Asia on Tenterhooks for Fed, Oil Keeps Climbing


South Korea index reaches record, US stock futures flat

All eyes on Fed for tapering outlook, dot plots

Oil extends bull run, in sight of 2019 peak

SYDNEY, June 16 Reuters Asian shares were subdued on Wednesday with investors wary of any hint of hawkishness from the U.S. Federal Reserve given lofty asset valuations rely so heavily on an endless supply of supercheap money.

A looming data dump on Chinese retail sales and industrial production offered another reason for caution, with some modest slowdown in annual growth expected.

Moves were modest, except in the oil market where prices hit the highest since April 2019 on a potent mix of postpandemic demand and restricted production.

MSCIs broadest index of AsiaPacific shares outside Japan barely moved, while Chinese blue chips dipped 0.3.

Japans Nikkei eased 0.2, but South Korean stocks rose 0.6 to a record high after five months of effort.

Both SP 500 futures and Nasdaq futures were all but unchanged. EUROSTOXX 50 futures rose 0.1 and FTSE futures 0.3.

For dealers, discretion was the better part of valour ahead of the conclusion of the Feds twoday meeting later in the session.

Trading could be choppy around the event as forecasts from Fed members might read as hawkish, while the news conference from Fed Chair Jerome Powell has tended to sound dovish.

We think Chair Powell will indicate officials discussed talking about tapering, but tapering itself is still someway off given the Fed remains well short on…


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