ASX set for bright start despite Wall Street wobbles

Stocks swayed between small gains and losses on Wall Street on Monday as investors brace for another big interest rate increase this week from the Federal Reserve.

The S&P 500 was down less than 0.1 per cent in late trade while the Dow Jones is 0.3 per cent higher and the Nasdaq has added 0.4 per cent. The Australian sharemarket is set to start the session in the black, with futures at 5.01am AEST pointing to a rise of 42 points, or 0.6 per cent, at the open. On Monday, the ASX shed 0.3 per cent.

Wall Street has made a nervy start to the week ahead of another rate hike.Credit:AP

Wall Street remains focused on inflation and the Federal Reserve’s attempt to lower prices by aggressively raising interest rates. On Wednesday, the central bank will announce its latest decision on rates and is expected to raise its benchmark rate, which influences interest rates throughout the economy, another three-quarters of a percentage point.

Retailers and banks gained ground. Home Depot rose 0.9 per cent and Bank of America rose 0.9 per cent. Health care stocks slipped and tempered gains elsewhere in the market. Pfizer fell 1.7 per cent.

The yield on the 2-year Treasury, which tends to follow expectations for Fed action, rose to 3.94 per cent from 3.87 per cent late Friday. The 10-year yield, which influences mortgage rates, rose to 3.47 per cent from 3.45 per cent.

The broader market is coming off its worst week in three months following a surprisingly hot report on inflation and big companies, including FedEx, warning about worsening trends in the economy.

Wall Street has been worried that the Fed’s plan to cool the hottest inflation in four decades could be too aggressive and throw the economy into a recession by pumping the brakes on growth too hard. The higher rates also tend to weigh on stocks, especially the pricier technology sector.

Investors will get another update on the housing sector on Wednesday when the National Association of Realtors releases August figures for sales of previously occupied homes.

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