Fed pulls off 40-word Houdini

The Fed kept rates on hold yesterday – pretty much a done deal – and its statement yesterday following its two-day policy meeting was very short on new insights.

But it was in line with my expectation that while the Fed would present a marginally less dovish assessment of the global economy, it would paint a still cloudy picture of the US and nurse the recently faltering rally in global risk appetite. US equities closed up 0.3% yesterday and 2, 5 and 10yr US treasury yields are down 6-10bps since Tuesday.

The Fed faces seven rocky weeks ahead of its 15th June meeting. It will likely want to keep the door ajar for a hike and will therefore not want to see US yields break out of range. But the market’s violent reaction today to the BoJ’s unchanged monetary policy is also a stark reminder that an overly-hawkish Fed could derail global risk appetite and in turn delay any Fed hikes.

With this in mind, my core scenario of a June is likely to be tested in coming weeks and the risk remains that flat-lining emerging market currencies will come under pressure.

Read the full article on my website.