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Asia stocks capped ahead of Fed, oil on defensive


Added 06-17-19 09:03:02pm EST - “Investor caution ahead of the Federal Reserve's interest rate meeting cappe...” - Reuters.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reuters.com: “Asia stocks capped ahead of Fed, oil on defensive”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

TOKYO (Reuters) - Investor caution ahead of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate meeting capped Asian stocks on Tuesday, while crude oil prices retreated as global growth worries overshadowed supply concerns stemming from recent Middle East tensions.

The Fed, facing fresh demands by U.S. President Donald Trump to cut interest rates, begins a two-day meeting later on Tuesday. The central bank is expected to leave borrowing costs unchanged this time but possibly lay the groundwork for a rate cut later this year.

Fresh hopes for looser U.S. monetary policy have been a tonic for risk assets markets, which were buffeted last month by an escalation in the trade conflict between Washington and Beijing. The S&P 500 has gained 5% this month after sliding in May on trade war fears.

Focus is now on how close the Fed could be to cutting interest rates amid the raging U.S.-China trade war, signs of the economy losing steam and pressure by President Trump to ease policy.

“The FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting is the week’s biggest event so there will be a degree of caution prevailing in the markets,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

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