Futures flat as Yellen's speech awaited

Futures flat as Yellen's speech awaited

The Nikkei average declined 63.14 points or 0.31 percent to 20,267.05, the lowest level since September 15, while the broader Topix index closed 0.50 percent lower at 1,664.43.

Ellen Zentner, chief economist at Morgan Stanley, says her biggest takeaway from the Cleveland speech was Yellen's confidence that "a strong USA labor market would ultimately drive inflation closer to the Fed's two percent goal over the next few years".

"We should be wary of moving too gradually", Yellen said in a speech to the National Association for Business Economics meeting in Cleveland. Unemployment has declined to roughly 4.5 percent over her term, while inflation remains lower than the Fed's preferred 2 percent benchmark. The sharp drop in the us dollar index supports this view, as it appears that currency speculators also called the Fed's bluff in 2017.

Despite efforts from British Prime Minister Theresa May to the contrary, the U.S. Commerce Department slapped import duties of 220 percent on Bombardier Inc.'s new jetliner.

"That triggered the move in bonds but the fact that we should hear something more substantive on tax reform today is adding to the selloff", he added. Investors also are monitoring the ongoing saga of President Donald Trump's domestic policies in an attempt to gauge the chances of meaningful tax reform in the world's biggest economy.

US stocks ended mixed overnight as housing and consumer confidence data disappointed investors and Fed Chair Yellen cautioned against moving too slowly on interest rates.

Yellen admitted Tuesday that the Fed may have overstated the strength of the labor market and the rate of inflation.

But Yellen & Co see these kinds of influences as "transitory" and do not allow them to crowd the discussion on interest rates.




President Donald Trump warned North Korea on Tuesday that any United States military option would be "devastating" for Pyongyang, but said the use of force was not Washington's first option to deal with the country's ballistic and nuclear weapons program.

The quite hawkish remarks sent the dollar and USA bonds higher as investors grew confident of another rate hike in December.

Dudley nodded to the three devastating hurricanes that have struck parts of the US south and the Caribbean, noting their effects will likely make it more hard to interpret economic data in coming months.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 2.5 points, or 0.1 percent, with 127,187 contracts traded.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.1 percent. It rose by as much as 0.3% earlier.

-The Japanese yen decreased 0.2 percent to 111.98 per dollar. Nymex WTI crude declined 46 cents, or 0.9%, to $51.76 a barrel.

-The euro sank 0.5 percent to $1.1792, the weakest in five weeks.

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