Global markets edge up ahead of Trump speech, Fed meeting

SGX Logo.				Reuters

[GBP/] Sterling eased 0.1 percent to $1.3577.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 0.1 percent, while MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.20 percent.

Investors will also be watching for signals that the Fed will raise rates in December, and for any clues on personnel changes as the end of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's term approaches and after the resignation of Vice Chair Stanley Fischer earlier this month.

Japan's Nikkei stock index ended 2 percent higher after touching its highest levels since late June, catching up to global equities gains and a weaker yen as Tokyo markets reopened after a public holiday on Monday.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 edged down by around 0.21 percent shortly after the opening bell, with nearly all sectors and major bourses in negative territory.

On Monday, safe-haven currencies were trading lower as United Nations leaders were preparing to kick off a meeting on Tuesday to discuss possible solutions on North Korea's nuclear programs, with the U.S. seeking a peaceful resolution.

Fed funds futures are now pricing in a almost 61% chance of a 25-basis-point increase at the December meeting, putting the federal funds rate at 1.25% to 1.5%.

How the Fed will respond will be closely watched by market participants.

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering calling a poll for as early as next month to take advantage of his improved approval ratings and disarray in the main opposition party, according to government and ruling party sources. The actual price action, however, will be determined by how much of the news has actually been built into the market.

Gold traders and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg turned bearish for the first time in 13 weeks as dollar recovers and US stocks reached record highs.

But economists and Fed officials say the storms will not affect the underlying trend in growth, which has been steady at around two percent in recent years, and activity should rebound later in the year due to reconstruction efforts. This should make the U.S. Dollar a more attractive investment while weakening foreign demand for dollar-denominated gold.

While initially surging against the US Dollar on Monday the Australian Dollar quickly fell back as markets shifted from concerns over North Korea towards the upcoming rate decision from the Federal Reserve, with some analysts branding it the bank's "biggest meeting of the year".

Wall Street's fear gauge-the CBOE Volatility Index or the VIX-fell 2.6 percent to 10.17 on Friday.

- Crude oil futures were higher with West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in October up 0.8% at $50.31 and Brent crude for delivery in November up 0.5% at $55.88.

A higher target rate, meanwhile, would push the Fed further from the zero percent lower bound it has been trying to escape after a decade nurturing the US economy into a post-crisis recovery.

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