- Markets Focus On Fed Decision
- IMF Revises Japan’s 2021 Growth Rate
- Apple, Microsoft And Alphabet Increase Net Profits
Markets Focus On Fed Decision
No change is expected at tonight’s Fed meeting as the virus variant poses a risk to the US economy.
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is expected to keep interest rates close to zero after the 2-day meeting. Also, it may maintain its $120 billion monthly asset purchase program.
Markets will be looking for any signals about inflation, economic growth, interest rates, and when the Federal Reserve will begin to reduce its bond purchases.
On Wednesday, Asian stocks were stuck at seven-month lows as markets processed a storm in Chinese equity markets, with traders wary of placing significant bets ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting.
Japan’s Nikkei slid 1.01%, Chinese blue-chips dropped 1.51%, and Australian shares fell 0.43%. Hong Kong bucked the trend, rising 0.63%, after closing at its lowest level since November the day before.
“China and the Fed are the two key things for today,” said Tai Hui, chief market strategist for the Asia Pacific at JPMorgan Asset Management.
The statement from the Fed policy meeting and a press conference from Chairman Jerome Powell is due at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT).
IMF Revises Japan’s 2021 Growth Rate
According to the fund’s latest report, the IMF announced that it had reduced its growth forecast for the Japanese economy by 0.5 percent, which it announced in April 2021.
The IMF put forward the expectation that the Japanese economy will grow by 2.8 percent this year, compared to 2020, under the conditions of Covid-19.
In the report, Japan was recorded as the only country among the G7 economies revised downwards. The country’s vaccine rollout initially lagged behind other developed countries, and it has imposed anti-virus business restrictions amid a rise in infection cases.
The downward revision reflects “tighter restrictions in the first half of the year as caseloads picked up,” the IMF said.
As for the 2022 growth rate expectation, the IMF increased Japan’s previously announced rate from 0.5 to 3, saying that the country is “anticipated to see a stronger rebound in the second half of 2021, as vaccination proceeds and the economy fully reopens.”
According to the IMF, conducting the Tokyo Olympics without crowds at most venues and reducing back-related events will have little impact. Restrictions on tourists, restaurants, and bars, on the other hand, could put downward pressure on growth if they are kept in place for a long time.
Apple, Microsoft And Alphabet Increase Net Profits
Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet announced their balance sheets for the April-June period of this year.
According to the statement made by Apple, the company’s revenue increased by 36 percent compared to the same period of the previous year and reached 81.4 billion dollars. The company had revenue of $59.7 billion in the April-June period of last year.
The company’s net profit, which was 11.3 billion dollars in the April-June period of last year, increased to 21.7 billion dollars in the same period of this year, increasing by 93 percent. The company’s earnings per share increased from $0.65 to $1.30 in the said period.
Apple’s smartphone and tablet sales also increased in the same period. Accordingly, in the said period, iPhone sales increased by about 50 percent to $39.6 billion, while iPad sales increased by 12 percent to $7.4 billion. Mac sales also rose 16 percent to $8.2 billion during the same period.
Microsoft’s revenue in the April-June period increased by 21 percent compared to the same period of the previous year and reached 46.2 billion dollars. Outperforming expectations with its revenue in this period, Microsoft had revenue of $38 billion in the April-June period of 2020.
The company’s net profit increased by 47 percent in the same period, reaching $16.5 billion. The firm’s net profit was $11.2 billion in the same period last year. Microsoft’s earnings per share also rose from $1.46 to $2.17 during this period.
Google’s parent company, Alphabet’s revenue in the second quarter of the year, increased by 62 percent compared to the same period last year, reaching $ 61.9 billion. Earning above expectations, the company announced $38.3 billion in revenue in the same period of 2020.
Alphabet’s net profit rose 166 percent year on year to $18.5 billion in the second quarter. Alphabet had a net profit of $6.9 billion in the second quarter of last year.
The company’s earnings per share, which was $10.13 in the April-June period of last year, increased to $27.26 in the same period of this year.