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US Dollar Rises as Fed’s Yellen Implies Foundation for Hikes

US Dollar Rises as Fed’s Yellen Implies Foundation for Hikes

Varun Jaitly, Contributor


Talking Points:

  • Fed Chair Janet Yellen says she and most colleagues expect “a few hikes a year”
  • Speech echoed Fed statements that the economy is near full employment
  • She reiterated that rate hikes in the coming months would depend on economic data

See what live coverage is scheduled for key event risk in the FX and capital markets on the DailyFX Webinar Calendar

The US Dollar and Treasury yields rose sharply following comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen as she weighed the progress made on the FOMC’s dual mandate. In her comments, she echoed sentiments from other Fed members suggesting that the economy is close to full employment and that inflation is progressing towards the bank’s 2 percent goal.

With regards to rate hikes she refrained from providing exact dates, but did note that she and her colleagues did “expect a few rate hikes a year” (presumably setting a pace beyond the current year as well). In traditional Fed fashion she reiterated the importance of economic data in determining the timing of future rate hikes and policy adjustments. In one point of caution, Chair Yellen did note that wage growth was “fairly low” in her opinion.

The rest of this week will feature more commentary from Madame Chair Yellen along with a number of her colleagues. The central bank head gives a speech at Stanford on Thursday at 01:00 GMT. On Friday - the day of the presidential inauguration - Fed’s Harker and Williams will speak in New Jersey and San Francisco, respectively.

Fed Chairwoman Yellen:

  • She and most colleagues expected ‘A few rate hikes a year’
  • US near max employment, inflation moving toward goal
  • Next rate hike depends on economy ‘over coming months’
  • Makes sense to gradually reduce monetary policy support
  • Says she’s hearing from borrowers who want lower rates
  • Inflation running below 2%, may be more room in the job market
  • US wage growth remains fairly low
  • Wants to ensure economy strong enough to absorb shocks
  • Fed close to dual goals; can’t give timing of next hike
  • Ageing US population matters to patterns of spending
  • USD value is important influence on US economy
  • Fed doesn’t target value of dollar but pays attention
  • US had stronger and faster recovery than peers
  • Market expectations of US policy divergence pressing USD
  • Not seeing credit growth at pace that gives concern
  • Our expectation is for gradual rate increases

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.