It’s been a big day for central bankers talking. While Fed Chair Yellen was the headliner, Bank of Canada Governor Poloz has had the biggest impact on trading.
Both North American central bankers discussed the potential impact of the oil price crash on their economies as being negative in the short term on job losses and positive in the long term as it has the potential to increase consumer spending.
Governor Poloz reminded the street that the Bank of Canada cut interest rates last month as an insurance policy giving the Bank time to assess the damage and transition through to a lower oil price environment. This dampened expectations of another rate cut at next week’s Bank of Canada meeting. Coming off as less dovish than hoped, today’s speech ignited a rally in CAD.
Chair Yellen highlighted the improving job market in the US but indicated that inflation and wages are expected to be sluggish in the short term but pick up in the medium term. This outlook was similar to Bank of England Governor Carney earlier in the day.
The Fed Chair indicated the central bank can remain patient for 2 more meetings (March and April) keeping the door open for a rate liftoff in June. She also indicated the Fed would change its guidance before raising rates but also suggested it could act at any meeting. It’s possible we could see the guidance change in March along with the member projections and press conference.
Overall, Fed Chair Yellen’s speech didn’t change the outlook for US interest rates much with the midyear liftoff several of her colleagues have hinted at lately still possible. She did indicate that the focus of rate normalization would be on interest rate levels more than the size of the Fed’s balance sheet.
No surprises from the Fed and continued easing of Greek debt tensions helped to support global indices
with major markets in the Europe and the US breaking out to new highs today.
Both Fed Chair Yellen and ECB President Draghi speak again tomorrow but nothing new is expected from them. The main event coming today is the China flash PMI report which could impact trading in Asia Pacific stocks and currencies, plus the copper price.
There are no major corporate announcements so far this afternoon.
Significant announcements released overnight include:
US flash service PMI 57.0 vs street 54.5
US consumer confidence 96.4 vs street 99.5
US Richmond Fed 0 vs street 6
Germany GDP 1.6% as expected
France GDP 1.3% vs street 1.0%
Eurozone consumer prices (0.6%) as expected
Eurozone core CPI 0.6% as expected
Turkey interest rate 0.25% cut to 7.50% as expected
Hungary interest rate 2.10% no change as expected
Upcoming significant announcements include:
11:30 am AEDT Australia wage inflation street 2.5%
12:45 pm AEDT China flash manufacturing PMI street 49.5
8:30 am GMT Sweden Riksbank minutes
9:00 am GMT Norway unemployment rate street 3.7%
10:00 am EST More FOMC Yellen testimony and questions
10:00 am EST US new home sales street 470K
10:30 am EST US crude oil inventories street 4.0 mmbbls
11:30 am EST ECB Draghi testimony