1. Investors will be focusing on Wednesday’s Fed meeting for fresh clues on the likely trajectory of monetary policy. Fed is widely expected to hike interest rates again in December. Fed fund futures are pricing in 97.8% chance for a 25bps hike to 1.25-1.50% in December. Friday’s U.S. jobs report for October will also be closely watched. Thursday’s BoE meeting will also be in focus along with euro zone growth and inflation data on Tuesday.
2. Last week, the dollar pared gains on Friday after rising to the highest level in over three months on data showing that the U.S. economy grew more than expected in the third quarter.
3. Gold prices rebounded after touching the lowest level in three weeks. The rally came amid rumors that US President Donald Trump is leaning toward choosing Fed Governor Jerome Powell to succeed Chair Janet Yellen when her term expires in February 2018. The markets may have reckoned that – short of nominating Yellen for a second term – Powell provides the most continuity with the central bank’s current posture. That might have been judged as a relatively less hawkish outcome than opting for outsider candidate and Stanford economist John Taylor.
4. Brent crude oil hit the $60 a barrel mark for the first time since 2015 on Friday and was up another 0.4 per cent in Asia trading on Monday at $60.69. West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, was up 0.3% at $54.07.
5. Japan’s Nikkei ended little changed but remained around its highest level since mid-1996, having soared 8% in October so far. But Chinese shares bucked the trend, with the Shanghai Composite Index set for its worst day since Aug. 11.