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To watchers of the US Federal Reserve, the biggest surprise lately was an announcement to end balance sheet reduction in September. This should keep assets near USD3.5 trillion, significantly higher than previously indicated. The Fed is also reducing the cap on US treasuries allowed to mature each month from USD30 billion to USD215 billion in May. Anxieties about a scarcity of reserves in the banking system are the driver. Regulatory shifts since the financial crisis demand banks to maintain safe capital that can be used in case of an economic shock. This has increased the demand for “safe” US T-bills. Interest rates may have peaked: this should put a floor on US equities.

The US domestic economy has failed to generate inflation above the Fed’s 2% target. The risk of a pre-emptive hike would be to push the USD higher and further slow economic activity. The Fed has downgraded its economic growth estimate. GDP growth was lowered for 2019 to 2.10% from a previous estimate of 2.3%. Unemployment is forecast to rise to 3.7% in 2019 against 3.5% at the December 2018 meeting. The Fed’s median for inflation is set at 1.8% in 2019 and 1.9% in 2020 and 2021.


 

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This report has been prepared by Swissquote Bank Ltd and is solely been published for informational purposes and is not to be construed as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any currency or any other financial instrument. Views expressed in this report may be subject to change without prior notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by Swissquote Bank Ltd personnel at any given time. Swissquote Bank Ltd is under no obligation to update or keep current the information herein, the report should not be regarded by recipients as a substitute for the exercise of their own judgment.

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