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FOMC Holds Rates at April Meeting, Focus Moves to June

FOMC Holds Rates at April Meeting, Focus Moves to June

2016-04-27 18:20:00
James Stanley, Currency Strategist
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Talking Points:

- The Federal Reserve held rates at this afternoon’s meeting with a 9-1 vote.

- The Fed’s statement did remove a key phrase around concern with ‘global risks’ within the economy, alluding to the potential for a hike at the next meeting in June.

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The April Fed statement was released this afternoon, and as expected, there were no changes to rates at today’s meeting. The focus for US rate trajectory now moves to the June FOMC meeting, in which markets will also get a press conference and Q&A session to accompany that rate decision. That meeting is going to be held on June 14th and 15th with the announcement expected at 2:00 PM on the 15th, with press conference and Q&A to follow thirty minutes later, beginning at 2:30 PM EDT.

The big takeaway from today’s statement was the removal of a phrase relevant to international economic pressures or ‘global risks,’ indicating that the bank’s fear of global economic headwinds has begun to recede after the tumultuous start to the year. This also alludes to the fact that the Fed may be getting more comfortable towards the topic of hiking rates at their next meeting in June. Given the divergence between market expectations and the median expectation from the Federal Reserve towards future rate hikes, this implication could inspire continued USD-strength as traders begin to factor in higher probabilities of a June hike.

At the previous meeting in March, the Fed had taken a more dovish stance by decreasing the median expectation for rate hikes this year from four hikes to two. This led to an extended down-trend in the US Dollar as rate hike expectations dwindled lower.

Before the release of today’s statement, odds of a hike in June were approximately 22%, and the US Dollar had been in a concerted down-trend for the better part of the past two months. Signs of strength in the Greenback had begun to show over the past week, as a higher-low was established just a day ahead of the meeting, as we had discussed in this morning’s Market Talk article.

FOMC Holds Rates at April Meeting, Focus Moves to June

Created with Marketscope/Trading Station II; prepared by James Stanley

--- Written by James Stanley, Analyst for DailyFX.com

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