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Morning Brief: Market awaits conclusion of the FOMC

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

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WHAT TO WATCH

The market isn’t expecting any rate hikes at the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) meetingAccording to the CME Group, investors are pricing in about a 98.7% chance that rates will stay unchanged at 2.25%-2.5% with a 1.3% chance that there will be a rate cut. Markets have no doubt positioned for a dovish Fed day.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference will be the event’s highlight. Market watchers will be looking for clues on the the central bank’s future monetary policy path, as well as when it plans to complete its balance sheet normalization.

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TOP NEWS

Theresa May is expected to write to European Council President Donald Tusk asking for a short extension to the Brexit negotiating timetable. Photo: GEERT VANDEN WIJNGAERT/AFP/Getty Images

Pound dips as May prepares to ask for Brextension: The pound fell against the dollar and the euro on Wednesday as UK Prime Minister Theresa May signaled she will only ask the EU for a short extension to the Brexit timetable. [Yahoo Finance UK]

Disney closes $71B deal for Fox entertainment assets: Disney (DIS) has closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox's entertainment business, putting "Cinderella," ''The Simpsons," ''Star Wars" and "Dr. Strange" under one corporate roof. The deal is likely to shake up the media landscape. [Associated Press]

Lyft IPO oversubscribed ahead of listing next week: Lyft Inc. built itself into a fierce challenger to Uber partly through aggressive price cutting. Now investors who want a piece of America’s second-largest ride-hailing company will likely need to pay a premium when the stock starts trading next week. [Bloomberg]

Second U.S. jury finds Bayer's Roundup caused cancer: A U.S. jury on Tuesday found Bayer AG's glyphosate-based weed killer to be a "substantial factor" in causing a man's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, allowing the trial to proceed into a second phase on liability and damages. [Reuters]

FedEx cuts profit forecast again on economy: FedEx Corp. (FDX) on Tuesday cut its 2019 profit forecast for the second time in three months, sending its shares down more than 5% and fueling fresh worries it is losing ground to delivery rivals such as United Parcel Service Inc and Deutsche Post DHL Group. [Reuters]

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