What’s driving markets
The focus of investors is whether the U.S. economy is headed for a recession. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday testified a recession was a possibility even as he stuck to his message that the economy is strong enough to withstand a series of interest-rate hikes.
“The ‘unconditional’ notion that the Fed would be prepared to tolerate a recession if that is ultimately required to tame inflation has not been repudiated,” said Krishna Guha, vice chairman of Evercore ISI.
“But the fact that this was kept in the background not the foreground [on Wednesday] both avoids opening the Fed up to political attack from the left, and confirms that Powell does not want to do anything that might prematurely foreclose on the possibility of a softish landing, even at the cost of leaving the Fed short of Volcker-esque maximum forcefulness on inflation at this time.”
Powell will be quizzed on Thursday by lawmakers in the House Financial Services Committee.
The recent talk of recession has brought the yield on the 10-year Treasury
down to 3.12% from as high as 3.48% earlier this month. Falling yields can help long-duration assets such as technology stocks and bitcoin
which rose in early action on Thursday.
U.S. data is set for release on weekly jobless claims and the June preliminary purchasing managers indexes from S&P Global.
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