Commodities markets waited with bated breath today for what one analyst called a "deluge of data." Friday, the Department of Commerce will release a report detailing the U.S. gross domestic product for the last month, while Monday and Tuesday will bring the Federal Open Market Committee meeting and the midterm elections.
Currency futures, commodity futures and stock index futures are all in "the calm before the storm," Summit Energy analyst Matt Smith told the Wall Street Journal. Indeed, the New York paper said that Thursday was the lowest-volume day of the year for New York Mercantile Exchange crude oil futures contracts.
West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude oil futures rose 0.3 percent to $82.18 per barrel, while on the Intercontinental Exchange, Brent crude oil futures climbed 0.4 percent to $83.59 per barrel.
The Fed is acutely aware of how important its quantitative easing announcement will be in terms of market movements. Bloomberg reported today that it actually took the unusual step of surveying dealers to gauge their opinion of how bond yields will shift if the Fed announces that it will buy $250 billion, $500 billion or $1,000 billion worth of Treasury notes.
That suggests the central bank may actually be targeting a certain amount of post-QE rally to bolster its case. A substantial easing program will probably send commodities futures soaring, but with high and perilous volatility.
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