Asian stocks pulled back from a one-month high on Friday as the Federal Reserve looked set to deliver another interest rate hike next month, paring gains made earlier this week after U.S. midterm elections triggered a global equities rally. Fed held interest rates steady on Thursday but remained on track to continue gradually raising borrowing costs, pointing to healthy economic prospects that were marred only by a dip in the growth of business investment. The central bank has hiked U.S. interest rates three times this year and is widely expected to do so again next month.
In currency markets, the dollar stood tall after advancing against its peers overnight, buoyed by higher Treasury yields and the Fed’s intent to continue tightening monetary policy. EURUSD is trading at 1.1342, losing 0.18 percent versus the greenback. The single currency fell 0.54 percent on Thursday as traders reacted to negative news out of Europe. The European Commission forecast on that the Italian economy would grow more slowly than Rome thinks in the next two years, leading to much bigger budget deficits than assumed by the new government. USDJPY traded at 113.925 yen after brushing a five-week high of 114.09 overnight. GBPUSD pair which traded range bound with slight bearish bias post announcement of US midterm election results took a sharp bearish decline post FOMC update and is trading well near 1.3000 handle in Asian market hours today. The pair is currently trading around 1.3040 handle heading into Friday’s data-packed UK market outing as the Cable begins to slip away from the mid-weeks peak at 1.3175.
In energy markets Oil prices struggled near eight-month lows as investors focused on swelling global crude supply, which is increasing faster than many had expected. The market took stock of record U.S. crude production and signals from Iraq, Abu Dhabi and Indonesia that output will grow more quickly than expected in 2019. U.S. crude futures were down 0.08 percent at $60.62 per barrel after falling to $60.40 the previous day, the lowest since March. Brent crude oil futures were at $70.84 a barrel, 19 cents above their last close. Still, Brent is poised for an almost 3 percent drop for the week, its fifth straight week of decline. Gold prices fell while the dollar inched up on Friday after the U.S. Federal Reserve kept the federal funds rate in a range of 2 to 2.25% as expected. The precious metal was down about 0.9% for the week and on track to record its biggest weekly fall since August