Morning Briefing: Waiting for Powell …

United States stock index futures were subdued on Tuesday as investors refrained from placing large bets ahead of commentary from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell after two other policymakers fanned concerns about the rate hike trajectory.

Powell is set to speak at a panel discussion at 9 am Eastern Time. His speech could provide clarity on the outlook for interest rates.

Wall Street’s main indexes gave up early gains on Monday after two Fed policymakers said the upcoming inflation data will help them decide if they could slow the pace of interest rate hikes to a quarter-point increase at an upcoming meeting in February.

While money markets are pricing in a 25% chance of a half-point U.S. rate hike in February, down from around 50% a month ago, inflation data and Fed speakers will dictate market action.

Oil prices were stable on Tuesday as the market awaited the Federal Reserve’s plans for rate hikes to gauge the impact on the economy and fuel demand.

In the past six weeks, China has dismantled its zero-COVID policy even as cases have surged around the country, which has given markets a bumpy ride as investors weighed up the economic benefits of reopening against the impact to activity from the wave of infections.

In Japan, consumer inflation exceeded the central bank’s 2% target for a seventh straight month in a sign of broadening inflationary pressure.

In France, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne is set to unveil a pension reform that is already angering unions and a large majority of voters and will be a key test of President Emmanuel Macron’s ability to implement change.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg Reported Late Monday, Indian Conglomerate Tata Nears Deal For Majority Ownership In iPhone plant in the country.

Taiwan Semiconductor’s December revenue slumps sequentially as China’s COVID Chaos & Macro headwinds weigh.

Also, Accenture Announced Earlier  It Will Acquire SKS Group; terms have not been Disclosed.

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