Markets

Stocks rise ahead of Fed, Dutch vote result

Stocks rise ahead of Fed, Dutch vote result”

Shares of Tesla rose 2.8 percent to $262.94 after the electric carmaker said it would raise about $1.15 billion as the company speeds up the launch of its Model 3 sedan.

Brent futures had yet to be traded yet after settling down 43 cents at $50.92 on Tuesday, the lowest finish since November, after industry body OPEC reported a rise in global crude stocks.

Spot gold hit a ten-day high of $1,228.81 an ounce, after enjoying its biggest daily jump since September.

In Europe, millions of Dutch voters go to the polls Wednesday in an election overshadowed by a blazing diplomatic row with Turkey, with all eyes on the fate of far-right MP Geert Wilders. Market analysts said the fall in gold futures was mostly in tune with a weak trend overseas as investors weighed the outlook for U.S. interest rate increase.

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Jeffrey Nichols, senior economic adviser for Rosland Capital, said recent gold trade has been driven in part by tapering momentum in the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.06% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.05% which have cooled their record-setting pace lately. The index was down nearly 1 percent overall for the week and 1.2 percent since the Fed raised rates on Wednesday.

The Fed raised USA rates on Wednesday, as expected, but its earlier forecast of three rate increases this year remained unchanged, disappointing some investors who had hoped for hints of a possible fourth hike in 2017.

James Chen, head of research at Forex.com in Bedminster, New Jersey, also pointed out that the pace of Fed rate hikes and policy outlooks can change extremely quickly.

UK's benchmark FTSE 100 closed down by 0.1 percent, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closes up by 0.69 percent, Germany's Dax ended up by 0.6 percent, France's CAC finished the day up by 0.5 percent. Stocks in South Korea and Australia fell. Some investors had begun to speculate that four increases may be possible given how much the economy and inflation have picked up. Meanwhile, Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.2%.

United States women's hockey team protests unfair pay
It also makes for a somewhat awkward dynamic to have the host country's team sit the event out-but clearly, the women of the U.S. The team has expressed that they want to represent their country; however, they want it to be under fair conditions.

Gold rose 0.1 percent to $1199.71 before the Fed decision.

"Although bulls have exploited dollar's weakness to elevate gold, gains could be limited in the longer term if the Fed readopts an aggressive stance".

A protracted bout of weakness for the US dollar would be seen as positive for commodities priced in the currency, said Richard Franulovich, a forex analyst at Westpac.

Excluding a modest drop in auto sales, retail sales rose by 0.2 percent in February after jumping by 1.2 percent in January.

Dutch Elections: Polls Open to Determine Future of Far-Right
Pundits predicted that Rutte's party would win 24 to Wilders 22 seats, both well below the 76 needed to form a majority. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's party has won the most seats in parliamentary elections, first exit polls say.

At German lender Commerzbank AG, currency analyst Antje Praefcke also said that "the euro seemed unimpressed" Thursday, but warned that the euro remains vulnerable because "political risks in the eurozone remain high with a view to the French elections".



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