Apple gives Fed food for thought

All eyes will be back on the Federal Reserve today as they make their first interest rate decision and monetary policy statement of the year but there are no economic projections or press conferences this time round, which come at the next meeting in March. Today's Fed meeting as a result is likely to see a more dovish tone to it, especially since the market consensus is that we will see fewer rate hikes this year than the Fed is currently pencilling in, says Simon Smith, chief economist, FXPro, an online broker.

“Even though we saw a higher than expected rise in US consumer confidence yesterday a big warning shot has come from one of the world's largest companies Apple which saw its first fall in revenue since 2003,” he says. “The fact that Apple's shares have declined some 20% in the last 6 months shows how the current equity bear market really did start in the middle of 2015 and it comes as no surprise that the main concerns are a result of a slowdown in emerging markets, in particular China which is the company's second biggest market. This could allow for a short term continuation in the recovery in risk appetite and at the same time causing the dollar to face some headwinds.”