Morning Bid: Jitters mount as Powell retakes centre stage

A look at the day ahead in European and global markets by Brigid Riley

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will be back in the spotlight as he takes the stage in Jackson Hole later today to deliver a speech investors have been waiting for all week.

Any hints about the Fed’s interest rate outlook are sure to resonate across all asset classes.

Stock markets around the world fell as nerves mounted, with Wall Street taking a hit tumble overnight and Japan’s Nikkei (.N225) fell 2% on the Asian morning.

Stoxx 50 futures did not offer much hope for the day ahead after the European benchmark (.STOXX) fell on Thursday.

The pure US resilience story took a hit earlier this week after dismal surveys business activity confidence shaken. Clothing retailer Gap (GPS.N) on Thursday connected a group of companies that have forecast a stronger-than-expected decline in sales against a backdrop of declining demand for discretionary items.

Meanwhile, weekly unemployment insurance data released on the same day served as a reminder that the US labor market remains tight, which does not help the Fed.

Fed officials pressed some latest public comment Before the Boss’s Speech: Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker tended to hold policy steady for the rest of the year, while Boston Fed President Susan Collins kept the door open for further rate hikes.

Whether or not these comments are a preview of what’s to come from Powell’s speech, investors will just have to wait to find out.

Key developments that could affect markets on Friday:

– Jackson Hole: Speeches by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and ECB President Christine Lagarde

– Germany second quarter GDP detailed, August business surveys

– Sweden, July PPI, unemployment rate, payrolls

Reporting by Brigid Riley; Edited by Kevin Buckland and Edmund Klamann

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Principles of Trust.

The mail Morning Bid: The jitters mount as Powell takes center stage again appeared first on Reuters.

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