The Home Buyer's Korner

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November 23rd, 2015

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Federal Open Market Committee Minutes for Oct 2015

Janet Yellen

The Minutes from the October FOMC signal the Fed is geared towards the first rate hike in a decade come December.

The USD finished the week higher against the majors, except the AUD after the Reserve Bank of Australia published the minutes of its November 3 monetary policy meeting and ruled out further rate cuts.

The Federal Reserve also published the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in October. The latest FOMC marked a turning point for the USD as it brought back the possibility of a rate hike in the last policy meeting of the year for the American central bank. It appears that  soft retail sales and low inflation aren’t going to be enough for the Fed not to raise the U.S. benchmark interest rate. Subsequent statements from Fed members and a strong non-farm payrolls have paved the way forward to the first hike in 10 years.

The October FOMC meeting was not followed by a press conference so the market had to seek guidance from the prepared statement published immediately afterwards and the minutes that were published two weeks later.

The minutes were released on Wednesday, November 18 and confirmed the Fed’s strong signal for a December rate hike. Markets had a subtle reaction to the release of the minutes, given some of the remaining debate as some Fed members cautioned that raising rates too early could cripple the momentum of the U.S. economy. While the timing of the first rate hike was under discussion, the focus will now shift to the pace of rate increases next year, and on that front the comments painted a dovish picture.

Central banks have influenced market pricing and on Friday European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi reinforced one of the biggest drivers of current market conditions. The ECB President talked about his readiness to do what is needed to boost European growth, this of course means stimulus!

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