Stock markets stabilized Tuesday but the main trading action of the day has been in currency markets with Fed speakers dominating the headlines.
Fed Chair Yellen took advantage of the spotlight to hint toward another interest rate hike in December. She downplayed recent softness in inflation as transitory and indicated the Fed should not wait for inflation to reach 2% to raise rates further. She indicated uncertainty about inflation calls for a continuing program of gradual rate hikes. Atlanta Fed President Bostic was even more clearly hawkish, indicating if he were a voter this year, he would support a December rate hike if data keeps coming in as expected.
Tomorrow Fed speakers continue but the spotlight may shift north of the border to Bank of Canada Governor Poloz’s comments. Last week Deputy Governor Lane hinted that the bank could go on hold to assess the impact of a higher Loonie, the two recent rate hikes and NAFTA negotiations again. The street will be looking to Poloz for confirmation or rejection of Lane’s assessment and hints on whether the BoC is done raising rates for 2017 or not.
It’s a light day for economic news but we could see Asia Pacific traders react to any news related to North Korea or coalition building in New Zealand.
We also could see traders positioning for tomorrow’s RBNZ meeting. The central bank is expected to keep the OCR steady at 1.75%. A rate hike looks particularly unlikely in the wake of yesterday’s worse than expected New Zealand trade numbers and post-election uncertainty. It remains to be seen if Governor Wheeler will try to aggressively talk down the Kiwi Dollar again considering it has been falling lately already.
WTI crude oil has picked up a bit with API inventories showing the hurricane disruptions have ended with oil stockpiles falling 0.7 mmbbls, and distillates dropping 4.5 mmbbls while gasoline rose 1.4 mmbbls. Energy commodities may remain active thorough tomorrow’s DOE reports.
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