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FOMC Preview

20/03/2019

Looking forward to tonight’s FOMC announcement at 18:00 GMT, we do not see any realistic likelihood of any change to the current US interest rate policy, with the Fed Funds target rate being maintained at 2.25%-2.50%. Whilst the headline of “no change” will not cause too many ripples, the only factor with any possibility of stimulating the market will be the accompanying press conference, where Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is likely to emphasise a continuation of the Fed’s fairly relaxed “wait and see” approach. Currently the market expectation is for just one US rate rise this year, but with many months still to run this is hardly imminent. With an anticipated rate rise of around 5 basis points already priced in, there is a possibility for some disappointment for those hoping for a slightly more reactive interest policy shift. For the detail guys looking at the press release the language will be important, but again we are not expecting too much deviation from what is now a fairly routine formula. We would, however, expect to see slightly more caution around future economic forecasts as global growth performances are taken into account.

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