Rand remains stable ahead of United States interest-rate decision

The Nikkei average dropped 24.25 points or 0.12 percent to finish at 19,609.50.

The firm had been hammered as news it would not release its numbers Tuesday raised fears it could be yanked from Japan's premier stock exchange.

The key question on investors' minds ahead of a U.S. rate meeting on Thursday AEDT is not whether the FOMC will raise rates, but how many times it will move to tighten monetary policy this year as the USA economy improves. It would be only the third increase since the central bank slashed rates to a record low of almost zero during the financial crisis in 2008.

The Fed believes that if it didn't keep raising the rate on excess reserves that interest rates would never go up, regardless of where they put their target for the federal funds rate. But many analysts say this time may be different.

While the week ahead could be an eventful one for our fixed mortgage rates, Canadian variable-rate borrowers can watch this week's Fed drama safe in the knowledge that their rates aren't likely to be moving in either direction for some time yet.

The Fed will kick off its two-day meeting on Tuesday amid expectations it will announce a 25 basis points hike to the funds rate to between 0.75% and 1.00%.

Don't expect any movement at the Bank of England on Thursday at noon, or from Japanese rate setters while London sleeps. The U.K. voted to leave the union last summer, one of a growing number of populations around the world trying to throw off the status quo. The vote in the Netherlands is the first of three key European elections this year. Later this year, elections will also occur in France and Germany. There is also a rising concern among the economists that the economic growth and the inflation could be a little higher than the earlier expectations.

February's uptick suggests the wage growth numbers in the January jobs report "may have only been a temporary setback", Piegza said.

Wall Street's major indexes have been largely kept in check since the start of the month as investors prepared for higher rates following a slew of hawkish comments from top Fed officials.

GOLDEN: Mobileye, an Israeli autonomous-driving company, agreed to sell itself to Intel for $63.54 per share in cash.

Stocks movers: USA -listed shares of HSBC Holdings PLC (HSBA.LN) rose 1.3% after the bank named AIA Group Ltd. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hsbc-names-aia-ceo-mark-tucker-its-next-chairman-2017-03-12)(1299.HK) Chief Executive Mark Tucker as its next chairman (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hsbc-names-aia-ceo-mark-tucker-its-next-chairman-2017-03-12). The Nasdaq Composite Index bucked the trend to rise about 10 points, or 0.2%, at 5,871.

The pan-European STOXX 600 share index fell 0.3 per cent, led lower by a 1-per-cent fall in banks. Interest banks earn on excess reserves now costs Americans $15 billion annually and increases $5 billion with each additional quarter percent increase. It dipped to 114.68 Japanese yen from 114.78 yen late Friday.

He expects the greenback to hit 1.45 to the Singapore dollar only in the second half this year - it was around 1.412 yesterday evening.

YIELDS: Bond price fell. Brent crude, which is used to price global oils, rose 9 cents to $51.46 a barrel in London.

Among index heavyweights, BHP added 0.85 per cent, South32 gained 2.9 per cent and Fortescue rose 1.5 per cent, while Whitehaven Coal rallied 4.6 per cent.

  • Eleanor Harrison