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What are the market implications the optimistic statements from Fed Vice Chair (and President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York) William Dudley’s optimistic statements this week?
Fed Vice Chair Dudley reiterated and bolstered Fed Chair Yellen’s “steady as she goes” message on rate increases last week, again dismissing low inflation as not a big enough problem to stop the Fed from continuing to hike.
Additionally, Dudley was optimistic about economic growth, saying he was “confident” the current economic expansion had plenty left in the tank.
Bottom line, Dudley reiterated that the Fed is committed to raising interest rates and removing accommodation, and that caused a mildly “hawkish” reaction across currencies and bonds.
It also helped push stocks higher (although stocks were already in rally mode). So, our general Fed outlook remains the same: Balance sheet reduction starting in September, and a rate hike in December.
However, in order for the hawkish tone from the Fed to get the Dollar Index and yields moving higher, we’ll have to see actual improvement in the economic data, and that remains elusive. As such, the market remains skeptical about future rate hikes, despite the Fed’s warnings (Fed fund futures are pricing in just a 20% chance of a September hike, and 40% chance of a December hike). So, the Fed has some work left to do on reestablishing its hawkish credibility after years of ultra-dovishness.
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