Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a speech stated economists predicting high unemployment to curb inflation are proven incorrect, as prices moderate while labour demand and spending power remain robust. Yellen also travelled to Mexico City to enhance cooperation fighting illicit finance and fentanyl trafficking, bolstering Mexico's role in U.S. supply chains for resilience and security. She argued U.S. aid is vital for Ukraine's survival, cautioning Congress that failing to approve the multi-billion-dollar request could hold America accountable for Ukraine’s defeat, jeopardizing European allied backing.
Wall Street traded unevenly as fresh job data strengthened bets on a Fed rate cut by March. While the magnificent 7 climbed, most S&P sectors dropped, with energy and materials leading the declines. Similarly, the Dow edged down as investors eyed November's critical payroll report on Friday. Charter Communications admitted likely subscriber losses with its stock plunging over its Disney dispute and internet challenges, though executives touted long-term optimism.
Gold prices edged up on Wednesday following earlier stabilisation after a steep drop, holding around $2,020. Safe-haven demand has driven strong gains this year, with prices hitting a record peak before paring on rate-cut uncertainty. Still, analysts see more upside in 2024, with demand expected to stay robust between global conflicts and central bank buying.
Crude prices extended declines to five-month lows as bearish sentiments compounded on demand concerns and burgeoning inventories as chinese economic downside risks coupled with lower fuel consumption estimates prompted OPEC’s output reduction pledges to fall short of market expectations while American stockpile builds further pressured prices despite robust production.
The dollar rebound higher, buoyed by rising Treasury yields, while China's downgrade sank the yuan. The euro dipped below 1.08 despite good PMIs, while the Australian dollar plunged on growth woes, yet the Canadian dollar rose on expectations of no change to peak rates from the BoC. With key data and events ahead, including US job figures, China trade, and central bank calls, currencies will remain volatile as the year wraps up on these complex, often competing economic crosscurrents.