Markets await soothing words from the Fed, covid news, durables eyed

Markets are mixed and the dollar is marginally lower ahead of the Federal Reserve’s decision late in the day. Optimism about the covid vaccines and concerns about the current winter wave are moving markets. Durable Goods Orders are also eyed.

The Federal Reserve is set to leave its policies unchanged and stress that it will not taper down its bond-buying scheme despite the increase in yields. The Fed may is set to comment on recent economic weakness, as well as prospects for a better second-half of the year. Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, may be asked about froth in stock markets.

Gamestop shares have been gathering attention after reaching new highs and defying short-sellers. The Fed may also address exuberance in stocks markets.

Gold has been stabilizing around $1,850, awaiting hints of more stimulus from the bank and also as fiscal stimulus talks continue in Washington. President Joe Biden’s team met a group of moderate Democrats and Republicans in an effort to find common ground. The administration also announced it is working to ramp up vaccine production and distribution.

Ahead of the Fed, US Durable Goods Orders are set to show a slowdown in December. The figures feed into fourth-quarter Gross Domestic Product data due out on Thursday.

The UK passed the grim milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths, yet investors are focusing on Britain’s rapid vaccination scheme, which is the leader in the West. GBP/USD topped 1.3750, hitting the highest since 2018, also buoyed by upbeat jobs figures.

The European Central Bank is studying how different policies are impacting the exchange rate and impacting inflation. The news temporarily weighed on EUR/USD.

In Italy, coalition talks started following the resignation of the government. The EU and AstraZeneca are at odds over a delay in the delivery of jabs.

AUD/USD edged higher after inflation rose by 0.9% in the fourth quarter, beating estimates.

Bitcoin has been on the back foot below $32,000, while Ethereum is also struggling under $,300.

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