Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell struck many of his long running themes in response to questions from members of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee during his twice-yearly economic testimony. He noted several times that the US economy was in a good place and that there was no reason that the benefits of 11 years of growth can’t continue. "We are at levels of unemployment that we haven't seen in 50 years...There is no reason this expansion can't continue and there is a lot of value in it...income gains are highest at the lowest end of the wage scale."
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October Fed decision review
If the Federal Reserve's statement was not hawkish enough – Chair Jerome Powell confirmed the upbeat stance. However, one comment on rate hikes seemed to have reversed the course of the dollar's gains, sending it down. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has said that only a significant rise in inflation would trigger a rate hike.
Following its 2-day meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Wednesday announced that it lowered the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to the target range of 1.75% - 2% in a widely expected decision. Jerome Powell, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, is scheduled to deliver his comments on the monetary policy outlook in a press conference at 18:30 GMT.
september Fed decision review
Lower rates tend to weigh on the currency – but the dollar advanced. While this may be attributed to a typical "buy the rumor, sell the fact" phenomenon, there are more significant factors.
The FOMC cut rates 25 bps, and there are some indications that it is prepared to do more. That said, not all committee members are on board with further easing. Incoming data will determine what the Fed does next.
AUGUST FED DECISION review
In his prepared remarks delivered at the Jackson Hole Symposium, Jerome Powell, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, said that the US economy was in a 'favorable place,’ and added that the Fed will 'act as appropriate.'
"The most powerful central banker in the world" – is how we and others characterize Fed Chair Jerome Powell. While that may be true – monetary policy is reaching its limits – especially in the face of a trade war.
GBP/USD has leaped above 1.29, the highest since early November, as the Brexit Party has failed to field candidates in 43 additional seats, facilitating a victory for PM Boris Johnson.
EUR/USD is trading closer to 1.1050, up on the day. US Commerce Secretary Ross has expressed optimism about reaching a deal with China. The Retail Sales Control Group met expectations with 0.3%.
The USD/JPY pair maintained its strong bid tone near session tops and had a rather muted reaction to the mixed US economic data.
The public phase of the impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump has kicked off, with the US public and parties divided more than ever. How does it affect markets?
What's important about Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting?
With a pre-set regularity, a nation's Central Bank has an economic policy meeting, in which board members took different measures, the most relevant one, being the interest rate that it will charge on loans and advances to commercial banks.
In the US, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (FED) meets at intervals of five to eight weeks, in which they announce their latest decisions.
A rate hike tends to boost the local currency, as it is understood as a sign of a healthy inflation. A rate cut, on the other hand, is seen as a sign of economic and inflationary woes and, therefore, tends to weaken the local currency.
If rates remain unchanged, attention and also main news and analysis turn to the tone of the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) statement, and whether the tone is hawkish, or dovish over future developments of inflation.
How to trade the event?
- Do not rely on the Fed to determine the direction of the dollar in the coming months.
- The dollar tends to follow its predominant trend when the Fed starts to hike rates.
- There is no direct link between the Fed hiking rates and the usd falling. When a weak usd has coincided with a Fed hiking cycle, it has been falling for some time.
- Due to this, we may see a muted reaction to a potential Fed rate hike.
FED educational resources
What is the Fed?
The Federal Reserve System (Fed) is the central banking system of the United States and it has two main targets or reasons to be: one is to keep unemployment rate to their lowest possible levels and the other one, to keep inflation around 2%. The Federal Reserve System's structure is composed of the presidentially appointed Board of Governors, partially presidentially appointed Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The FOMC organizes 8 meetings in a year and reviews economic and financial conditions. Also determines the appropriate stance of monetary policy and assesses the risks to its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth. FOMC Minutes are released by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and are a clear guide to the future US interest rate policy.
WHO IS FOMC'S CHAIRMAN?
Jerome Powell took office as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in February 2018, for a four-year term ending in February 2022. His term as a member of the Board of Governors will expire January 31, 2028. Born in Washington D.C., he received a bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University in 1975 and earned a law degree from Georgetown University in 1979. Powell served as an assistant secretary and as undersecretary of the Treasury under President George H.W. Bush. He also worked as a lawyer and investment banker in New York City. From 1997 through 2005, Powell was a partner at The Carlyle Group.
The World Interest Rates Table
The World Interest Rates Table reflects the current interest rates of the main countries around the world, set by their respective Central Banks. Rates typically reflect the health of individual economies, as in a perfect scenario, Central Banks tend to rise rates when the economy is growing and therefore instigate inflation.