Global stocks edged lower on Thursday, with traders fearful of making major moves until a speech from the world’s top central banker on its inflation strategy.
The market is waiting for the address from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in which he is expected to suggest the central bank will adopt a new framework to allow inflation to run hotter than the present target after a period of missing that goal.
“Expectations are for a move to some version of an annual inflation-targeting strategy, which would see the Fed seek a period of above-target inflation when the economy is at or near full employment to compensate for periods of sub-target inflation at times (such as the recent norm) when the economy has been less buoyant,” said Emily Nicol, an economist at Daiwa in London.
“While such an approach has been increasingly priced over recent weeks—manifesting itself in real rates on U.S. TIPS below -1% and break-even inflation rates rising above 1.70%—the precise definition of the strategy to be agreed is uncertain and could have market ramifications,” she said.
There are also data on U.S. jobless claims and more data on second-quarter gross domestic product.
Earnings are due from retailers including
with computer makers
and Dell reporting after the close.
slipped 0.4% and the
lost 1.1%. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is due to address the media on Friday amid speculation about his health.
rose 0.6%, and the
closed up 0.2% in Sydney.
The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.2%.
Futures on the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
eased 64 points, after an 83-point gain for the blue chips on Wednesday.