Stock Market

Futures Climb, Bitcoin Wavers As Traders Await Powell

  • US stock futures climbed higher in premarket trading Wednesday.
  • Investors will be keeping a close eye on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony later.
  • Powell could give the market an update about the central bank’s approach to interest rates.

Stocks looked set to edge higher at Wednesday’s opening bell as traders waited for Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell to potentially shed some more light on the central bank’s approach to interest rates.

Futures for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 rose 0.4% and 0.8% respectively in premarket trading, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was on pace to add 100 points.

London’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index was 0.3% higher at 7,672 points in morning trading, with British Airways owner IAG one of the biggest risers, up 4.5%.

Meanwhile, bitcoin treaded water at just over $66,600, per data from CoinDesk. The cryptocurrency hit a new record high on Tuesday but then retreated later in the day.

Gold also hit a record spot price of $2,141.59 an ounce on Tuesday before losing ground slightly. The “safe haven” commodity has risen more than $300 since the Israel-Hamas conflict erupted in early October.

Powell is set to appear before the House Financial Services Committee, where he could outline the Fed’s latest monetary policy stance with inflation still running clear of its 2% target.

Traders expect the central bank to start cutting borrowing costs in June, according to the CME Fedwatch tool.

“Traders look to Powell, who in his semi-annual testimony before Congress is expected to stick to his relatively hawkish script and reinforce that policymakers aren’t rushing to cut interest rates,” Danish bank Saxo’s strategy team said in a research note.

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