U.S. stock index futures ticked up slightly on Wednesday as Wall Street braced for the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting minutes and more insight on the central bank’s future hiking agenda. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 78 points, or 0.24% Futures linked to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 rose 0.3% and 0.45%, respectively. Shares of Palo Alto Networks popped 9.5% after the cybersecurity company lifted its earnings forecast for the year. Crypto exchange platform Coinbase topped revenue expectations. Mounting concerns that the Fed will continue hiking rates spooked investors Tuesday and pushed stocks to their worst day of 2023. A slew of earnings reports, including disappointing results from Home Depot also sparked concerns about the health of the consumer. The Nasdaq Composite led the Tuesday’s losses, falling 2.5%, while the S&P 500 slumped 2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.06% and turned negative for the year. All major S&P sectors finished with losses, led to the downside by consumer discretionary. Rising bond yields also kept the market on edge, with the rate on the 10-year Treasury note hitting its highest level since November during the day. “I think there’s a repricing of the equity market based on the view that the Fed will likely have to be higher for longer, and because of the rising interest rates,” said Truist co-chief investment officer Keith Lerner. Attention now shifts toward the Fed minutes due out Wednesday. Investors will scour the results for insight into the central bank’s future rate hiking path and its recent 25 basis point increase. Earnings season rolls on with results from Nvidia, Etsy and Baidu. Asia-Pacific markets were lower on Wednesday after Wall Street’s sharp losses overnight, and New Zealand’s central bank continued to hike its benchmark interest rate. The S&P/NZX 50 Index fell fractionally to close at 11,794.2 and the New Zealand dollar gained 0.21% to stand at 0.6226 against the U.S. dollar. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.3% lower at 7,314.5 as nation saw its wage price index for the fourth quarter of 2022 come in lower than estimates. Japan’s Nikkei 225 finished 1.34% lower at 27,104.32 as the nation’s producer price index rose 1.6% on an annualized basis, while the Topix dropped 1.11% to end the day at 1975.25. In South Korea, the Kospi shed 1.68% to end the day at 2,417.68 and the Kosdaq finished 1.88% down at 778.51. In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component closed 0.57% lower at 11,900.12, while the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.43% to finish at 3,292.16. The Hang Seng index was 0.46% lower in its final hour of trade, while the Hang Seng Tech index fell 1.56% as investors digested Hong Kong’s budget. Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the economy shrank by 3.5% in 2022. Oil prices fell for a third trading session on Wednesday on expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will indicate later in the day that interest rates are set to rise more, stoking concerns of lower global economic growth and demand for fuel. Brent crude futures for April delivery fell $1.10 to $81.95 a barrel after recording a 1.2% decline on Tuesday. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for April dropped by $1.17 to $75.19 a barrel. Gold prices fell marginally on Wednesday, as investors awaited minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting to assess prospects of further interest rate hikes. Spot gold was down less than 0.1% at $1,833.62 per ounce. U.S. gold futures was flat at $1,842.30.
Roodeweg 222, Willemstad, Curaçao