Futures so bright, Apple has to wear shades
Futures are up 18 points following a strong close on Wall Street, which has the major indices all up over 1.5%.
US bonds also rallied strongly with the biggest gains in the short end of the curve. The cause was a statement from the Federal Reserve saying it would be patient with futures rate rises, citing muted inflation and recent economic cross currents.
The Fed maintained its monetary policy settings.
Meanwhile, the UK's ability to negotiate an orderly exit from the EU is being hampered by a continuing chorus of "Non!" from EU leaders. They clearly don’t want Britain to leave as it removes a major source of revenue.
Apple, on the other hand, reported a good result after the close yesterday, beating estimates and causing a 3% rally in the stock in after-hours trade.
Visa reported this morning (our time), also beating forecasts. Visa reported payment volumes and transactions rose 11%. Profit rose to US$2.98 billion for the quarter, up from US$2.52 billion in the previous corresponding quarter.
Inflation in the local economy rose 0.5% in the December quarter for a slightly lower annual rate of 1.8%. This outcome is just another reason why the Reserve Bank will be in no hurry to raise the interbank rate.
Alex Moffat is a director at Joseph Palmer & Sons.