FOMC Minutes Preview: Major Banks expecting a reiteration of a dovish message


Today, we have an all-important release of the Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) January meeting, which is due at 1900GMT.

As we head closer to the release timings, the economists and researchers of major banks are expecting that the Fed minutes should reiterate an overall dovish message, after a range of Fed speakers have shown their support for patience, since the January meeting.

Barclays

“Look to the minutes for insights as to whether FOMC participants see the rate hike cycle as essentially complete or members still expect further rate hikes as part of the baseline outlook.”

“We expect the minutes to signal that the committee is prepared to release its plan for the end of the runoff of its balance sheet "soon", which we believe will come at the March meeting.”

Nordea Markets

“All eyes are on the Fed this week, when the meeting minutes of the big U-turn FOMC meeting are out on Wednesday. 

“We look for clues on whether the Fed will be more concrete on a potential timing for the end of QT. For technical reasons, we know that quantitative tightening cannot run forever. The system probably needs at least USD 1,000bn in excess reserves, which could already be reached before the end of 2019 on our projections.”

“Consensus has moved towards an October stop to QT (Fed’s Brainard said that she favoured a late 2019 QT-end on Thursday), so the Fed will have to hint at an earlier stop than that to really surprise dovishly now. We don’t put a large probability on that. The earlier a QT stop, the worse a scenario for the USD, the better a scenario for risky assets. We wouldn’t bet on dovish surprises though.”

Danske Bank

“We will be interested to hear the different stances within the Fed on further hikes now it has hinted it is ‘patient’ about raising rates again. Furthermore, we will monitor any insights it might have on how it plans the balance sheet reduction.”

HSBC

“The release of FOMC’s 29-30 January meeting minutes should give investors a better read on how policymakers reached their decision to shift to a more “patient” approach. The minutes should also provide an update on the US Federal Reserve’s current policy framework review.”

Nomura

“We expect more clarity regarding the FOMC's plans for balance sheet normalization from the minutes of the January FOMC meeting. The minutes from the two preceding meetings - November and December - included important sections on the balance sheet.”

“We believe the corresponding section of the January minutes will confirm the Committee's plans to end balance sheet normalization by end-2019.”

“The Committee has been clear that rates are on hold for the time being. A key issue is the set of circumstances that would drive the FOMC to raise rates.”

“It will also be interesting to see if there was discussion of what would drive the Committee to lower interest rates.”

TD Securities

“Minutes from the January FOMC meeting will be published at 14:00 ET. Given the range of speakers since the January meeting who support "patience," the Fed minutes should reiterate a dovish message overall — but could risk highlighting some disagreements on the FOMC.”

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