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MARKET WRAP: FTSE falls ahead of Fed, USD steady, Oil declines

Economy3 hours ago (Dec 15, 2021 16:33)

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Key Points

Cineworld tumbles following Canadian ruling
Currys drops after results
USD steady ahead of Fed
GBP lower despite inflation surge
Oil holds losses after inventory data
Cryptocurrencies steady

By Samuel Indyk

Investing.com – The FTSE 100 finished lower on Wednesday with focus turning to the Fed interest rate decision after market and Thursday’s Bank of England announcement.

Cineworld (LON:CINE) was a major underperformer after the company after a Canadian court ruled that the cinema chain operator must pay Canadian rival Cineplex CAD 1.23 billion in damaged for walking away from a planned takeover. The UK-listed company said it would appeal the ruling.

Currys (LON:CURY) shares dropped after the company noted some product shortages due to supply chain issues and highlighted risks from the Omicron variant. The company said revenue was £4.78 billion, which was slightly lower than £4.85 billion from a year earlier.

“Markets have reacted unfavourably to Currys half-year results today given the headwinds the group is facing,” said Hargreaves Lansdown (LON:HRGV) Equity Analyst Matt Britzman. “This likely has little to do with the numbers and everything to do with worries about what the future will hold.”

The USD was relatively steady ahead of the Federal Reserve announcement where they are likely to speed up the phase-out of bond purchases.

GBP was marginally lower against the USD and EUR despite CPI inflation surging to a new 10-year high. Focus now turns to the Bank of England decision on Thursday with markets now pricing in around 50% chance of a hike following the data.

WTI and Brent crude futures both held losses after the latest inventory data from the Energy Information Administration that showed a larger than expected decline in stockpiles. The EIA said crude oil inventories fell by 4.584 million barrels in the latest week, compared with analyst expectations for a draw of 2.082 million barrels.

Cryptocurrencies were treading water ahead of the Fed decision with Bitcoin steady around $47,000.

“Perhaps there is an eye on the Fed meeting here as well, with the crypto-crowd hoping for a continuation of inflationary loose policy, which they’ve long believed is bullish for the cryptocurrency,” said OANDA Senior Market analyst Craig Erlam. “I guess we’ll soon see if Bitcoin can look forward to a Santa rally of its own.”

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MARKET WRAP: FTSE falls ahead of Fed, USD steady, Oil declines

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