With the FOMC opting to keep the fed funds rates on hold at <0.25%, the US Dollar and the US equities took a dive as the FOMC statement was viewed as being very dovish. The Staff Economic Projections were also revised lower on the rate hike expectations as the futures markets re-priced for a rate hike towards early 2016. Majority of participants however expect to see at least one rate hike by 2015 end, while one member expected negative interest rates with six members expecting two or more rate hikes this year. The FOMC also revised down its NAIRU from 5.0% – 5.2% to 4.9% – 5.2%. The long run GDP is expected to grow at a slower pace of 1.8% - 2.2% from 2.0% - 2.3% in July. In the press conference, Fed Chair Janet Yellen cited concerns of the impact of a rate hike against weakening global economic sentiment and the subdued inflation. She said that further slack in the labour markets needed to be absorbed before being reasonably confident for hiking rates. Overall, the FOMC event last week turned out to be a close call as unemployment continued to improve but confidence was eroding as far as inflation was concerned. The US equity markets also weakened after the FOMC with the S&P500 December futures briefly testing the highs above the 2000 handle and closed the week nearly unchanged at 1961.
US Dollar takes a backseat as Fed funds rates unchanged
Weekly Report - 21/09/2015