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Markets focus on “some” as Fed sits on its hands

Markets focus on “some” as Fed sits on its hands

As with most FOMC decisions of late the nuances come in the wording of the statement, or the tone of the press conference. As there was no press conference the statement was the focus of all the attention last night as the Federal Reserve kept rates on hold. The main focus of attention revolved around a single word, “some,” the inclusion of which towards the end of the third paragraph has created further market obsession with the next two payrolls reports. The line in question states that it would be “appropriate to raise the target range for the Federal funds rate when it has seen some further improvement in the labour market.” There is a danger though that focussing on a single word distracts from the other message in the statement about the lack of inflation, which the Federal Reserve’s own staff forecasters predict won’t return to the 2% level for at least another 5 years. It was notable that the Fed statement also saw reference to the stabilisation in energy prices removed, though that scarcely got a mention, despite the fact that oil and gasoline prices are over 10% down from when the Fed met in June. In short there was something for both sides of the argument, but those who argue that a September rise is now much more certain could be in danger of getting somewhat ahead of themselves, particularly given concerns about events in China and the continued strength of the US dollar, of which there was no mention at all. Investors should also be aware that the Jackson Hole symposium at the end of August could well be a significant signpost for future Fed policy, though given that Janet Yellen may not attend this year it could lose its significance. . Given the rebound in European equities in the last couple of days, which could well be down to the rebound in oil prices, as well as a raft of M&A deals, we once again get back to the more mundane business of economic data, for Germany and the euro area in general. Having averted the prospect of a Greek exit in the medium term as the latest bailout talks get underway this week, it will be worth noting whether we got a rebound in overall economic, consumer and business confidence in the euro area, with a raft of sentiment indicators due to be released for July later this morning, as well as the latest German unemployment and inflation data for July. German unemployment is expected to stay at 6.4% for July while CPI inflation is expected to stay unchanged at 0.1%. In the wake of last nights Fed meeting the markets will also get to absorb a host of GDP revisions for the US economy, as well as the first glimpse of the extent of the recovery in the US economy in Q2 from the slowdown in Q1 with the latest US Q2 GDP number. Expectations are for a rebound to 2.5% from the -0.2% in Q1, though we could well see a revision to this Q1 number, with some expecting an upward revision. That remains by no means certain given the recent whole scale downward revisions to industrial production data earlier this month. Personal consumption data will also be assessed closely with an increase to 2.7% from 2.1% expected. Weekly jobless claims are expected to rise to 270k from the 255k low seen last week. EURUSD – despite this week’s move to 1.1130 the euro has struggled to rally, suggesting that continued range trading remains the most likely outcome. A break back below 1.1000 suggests a return to the 1.0920 level and then trend line support from the lows this year at 1.0460. GBPUSD – despite a quick move to 1.5690 yesterday the pound has slid back lower, meaning the resistance at 1.5675 remains intact for now. Support remains down at 1.5470 as well as the 200 day MA at 1.5410. A move above the 1.5700 has the potential to retarget the 1.5820 level. EURGBP – the euro appears to be finding some support near the 0.7040 level for now. It needs to hold above here to suggest a return towards the 0.7120 level. A move below 0.7040 retargets the 0.7000 level and then 0.6930. USDJPY – the current rebound continues to see us edge higher with the 124.50 level remaining the key resistance level on the upside. A move through 124.50 retargets the 125.85 highs. Support currently comes in at 123.00 for now, while below that we could see a move towards 122.50. CMC Markets is an execution only service provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

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