Wall St set for higher open with Powell speech in focus

Rupee Extends Weakness Against US Dollar 10 Things To Know

TOKYO, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Asian stocks fell on Friday after U.S.

USA stocks rose and the dollar slipped as investors digested Powell's first speech as Fed chief at Jackson Hole.

USA and Chinese officials ended two days of trade talks on Thursday without any major breakthroughs. Shares in Europe rose, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX up 0.2 percent on the day. Australia's S&P ASX 200 edged 0.1 percent higher to 6,247.30.

The dollar index was down a quarter of a percent from its position at 10:00 a.m. EST when the speech began, and down more than half a percent over the day. The Australian dollar climbed to 0.7324 dollar from 0.7245 dollar.

Trump believes that rate hikes would hinder economic growth and put a cap on the bullish US stock market.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 0.3 per cent.

Shares of industrial giants Caterpillar Inc and Boeing Co, bellwethers of trade confidence, were among the biggest drags on the Dow, which lost about 0.3 per cent. Caterpillar shares fell 2.0 per cent, and Boeing shares fell 0.7 per cent.

"If it was just me I'd stand pat where we are and I'd try to react to data as it comes in", Bullard told CNBC at an annual central bankers' conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Currently, Fed funds futures are pricing in a 95% chance of a 25-bps rate hike in September, and a 64% chance of another hike in December (bringing the total to four 25-bps hikes in 2018).


The Fed has raised its key policy rate seven times since late 2015 after seven years of keeping the rate at a record low near zero to help the economy recovery from the Great Recession. "That would fall in line with expectations and not cause much of a stir", said Soichiro Monji, senior economist at Daiwa SB Investments in Tokyo.

Powell made no mention of the recent public criticism from President Donald Trump, who has said he's unhappy with the Fed's rate hikes.

After silently enduring a week of withering barbs from President Trump, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell finally spoke up on Friday, defending his plans to keep hiking interest rates. " This is good news, and we believe that this good news results in part from the ongoing normalization process, which has moved the stance of policy gradually closer to the FOMC's rough assessment of neutral as the expansion has continued".

The greenback extended its overnight surge to touch a two-week high of 111.48 yen.

The U.S. Dollar spiked lower on the news with the headlines reading that Trump's comments triggered the break.

The Australian dollar has lost nearly two percent against the greenback since Tuesday as the prime minister's political career came to an end.

Onshore Chinese yuan slipped 0.1 percent to 6.8833 per dollar, its weakest in a week.

Oil prices recovered during the week. However, this view could be tested with the turmoil in emerging markets, continuing trade tensions and political drama in Washington still hanging in the background.

With the US economy improving, Fed officials have signaled two more small increases are expected this year to try to prevent a jump in inflation that can come when borrowing costs are low in a growing economy.

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