Asia Stocks Slip, U.S. Yields Steady; Lira Tumbles: Markets Wrap

Fed Debate Shifts From Large Cut to Whether to Cut at All

President Donald Trump criticized the Federal Reserve on Saturday for raising interest rates, saying the USA economy would be "like a rocket ship" if we didn't have to pay unnecessary interest.

That being said, later on the market got a bit of relief due to Jerome Powell suggesting that the Federal Reserve was also going to do whatever it takes to keep the economy going, and other words keeping interest rates low.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan slid 0.98 percent while the Topix index was down 0.89 percent.

Trading is expected to be subdued ahead of Powell's semi-annual testimony to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, which will provide further clues on the near-term outlook for monetary policy. United States stocks hit a record last week and a bond rally took yields to multi-year lows amid expectations the Fed will lower interest rates by at least a quarter percentage point at its July meeting, though fed fund futures showed traders trimming the amount of easing they expect.

Greek 10-year bond yields fell by 14 basis points in early trade to hit new all-time lows of 2.016%, reversing the 12 basis point yield rise on Friday. Asian stocks tumbled Monday after relatively strong US employment data tempered hopes the Federal Reserve might cut interest rates. The euro bought $1.1226, little changed.

Britain's FTSE 100 trades 0.1 percent down at 7,544.21 points, while mid-cap FTSE 250 eased 0.3 to 19,599.58 points.

Crude oil prices declined amid escalating tensions around Iran's nuclear program, while the U.S.

More news: Crusaders take record 10th title

Last year, Fed officials raised rates four times, in part to stave off the risk of high inflation and in part to try to ensure that they would have room to cut rates if the economy stumbled. Spot gold was 0.5 percent up at $1,405.30 per ounce by 1018 GMT, having touched a high of $1,437.66 on Wednesday, its highest since June 25.

Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci on the US job market, the economy, the outlook for Federal Reserve policy, USA trade talks with China and the 2020 presidential race. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.3%.

Gold futures finished lower last week, ending a six-week winning streak.

Yields on two-year U.S. Treasuries previously jumped to 1.87% from 1.76%, reflecting reduced odds of the Fed aggressively reducing borrowing costs in the near term.

Powell has the opportunity to reinforce gold trader expectations for a July 31 rate cut, or reduce demand for the precious metal by reiterating his previous comments about the Fed being "patient" and "data dependent".

Any gains in the kiwi, however, will be capped in the short term as ASB said it now expects the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to cut rates by 50 basis points to 1 percent by the end of the year and "for NZ, the question is whether a 1 percent OCR will prove to be the floor", it said.

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