Futures indicate that the
Wednesday's initial estimate of second quarter US GDP came in higher than expected at an annualised 4.0%, which more than reversed the first quarter slump and sent concern through markets that the Federal Reserve might change its outlook over expectations for the first interest rate rise since the start of the financial crisis. That concern sent equities across
The worries appear to have been a little premature, as the Fed reiterated its stance that it will likely be appropriate to maintain interest rates at their current levels for "considerable time after the asset purchase program ends".
"While itís not too much of a surprise to see this passage left in it now, it does raise the prospect that the Fed could start to lose credibility, if they start to ignore the evidence of an improved employment outlook," said
There was one new dissenter among the FOMC members, however. Philadelphia Fed President
Despite the signs of dissent in the Fed, the reiteration that rates are staying low for now lifted US stocks off their earlier lows to a flat close for the S&P 500, while the DJIA closed 0.2% lower, and the Nasdaq Composite closed down 0.4%.
In the corporate calendar,
German retail sales rose 1.3% month-on-month in July, more than the 1.0% that had been expected and more than reversing the 0.2% fall in May.
European data remains in focus throughout the morning, with unemployment data due from throughout the region ahead of July inflation data at
It is almost two months since the
That first raise in the US appeared to get one step closer on Wednesday, and indeed the euro fell to its lowest level against the dollar since
While the ECB will be welcoming the falling euro, any slip in eurozone consumer price growth below 0.5% will cause great concern and put pressure on the central bank to take further policy loosening measures. The expectation is for the rate to remain unchanged.
It's also another busy day of US corporate earnings, with
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