Investors Cautious Ahead of FOMC Announcement

Economic Projections Eyed With Rate Hike Priced in

We’re seeing a little caution in the markets as we enter the business end of the week, with equity markets in the US poised to open flat ahead of the FOMC decision.

The decision itself shouldn’t throw up any surprises with the Federal Reserve having long suggested that it will raise interest rates once more this year and investors having entirely priced it in. With that in mind, the decision itself shouldn’t provide much of a boost for the dollar, however with the statement and new economic projections, including the dot plot, being released alongside it, there could be plenty of volatility.

Source – Thomson Reuters Eikon

It will be interesting to see how traders respond to the projections this evening, particularly the dot plot, given the number of changes taking place at the Fed and the vacant spots to be filled. It’s possible that these are taken with a pinch of salt should they be broadly in line with the previous set, or even slightly more hawkish. Any downward revision to the inflation and growth outlook, however, could well trigger a much bigger response, with there already being doubts as to whether the inflation trajectory warrants such aggressive tightening.

We’ll also hear from Janet Yellen shortly after the announcement but once again, with her term ending in February, traders may take what she has to say with a pinch of salt. While she will offer insight on the latest views of the committee and comment on any changes in the outlook, she isn’t the best person to hear from when it comes to the outlook for interest rates next year and beyond. It will be interesting again to see how much attention traders pay to her comments.

Move Over Alabama, Fed Next

Trump Speech on Tax Reform Key as Republican Majority in the Senate Narrows

A speech from US President Donald Trump on tax reform in Washington will also be monitored closely today, with investors looking for insight on its progress and where the Senate and House is planning to compromise on their respective bills. It would appear the corporation tax rate will now be slightly higher than the 20% that Trump was targeting and other amendments are expected to enable it to squeeze through Congress, a task that’s become all the more difficult following the Alabama election.

Keeping the focus on the US we’ll get CPI inflation data for November ahead of the FOMC decision. While this can typically get a reaction, coming a couple of weeks before the Fed’s preferred core PCE price index measure, traders will likely be more focused on the central banks inflation projections.

CAC Edges Lower, Investors Await Fed Announcement

Economic Calendar

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Currency Analyst at
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.