The euro is showing limited movement for a second consecutive day. In Wednesday’s European session, EUR/USD is trading at 1.1063, up 0.07%.
Is the Fed “one and done”?
The Federal Reserve meets later today, and it’s close to a certainty that the Fed will raise rates by 0.25%, which would bring the Fed Funds rate to a range of 5.25% to 5.50%. The FOMC will not be releasing any economic forecasts, which means investors will have to comb the rate statement and Jerome Powell’s follow-up press conference for clues about future rate policy.
The money markets remain confident that today’s rate hike will be the last in the current tightening cycle, which is a more dovish stance than what we’ve been hearing from Powell & Co. The Fed has reiterated that although inflation is heading in the right direction, it remains too high and more work needs to be done to bring inflation back to the 2% target.
Powell does not want the markets to become complacent about inflation, and for this reason, he is unlikely to close the door on future rate hikes, even if he hints at a pause after today’s expected increase. We can expect Powell to stick to the well-worn mantra of basing future rate decisions on economic data, in particular inflation and the strength of the labour market.
The ECB will announce its rate decision on Thursday, and like the Fed later today, it’s a virtual certainty that the ECB will raise rates by 0.25%. What happens after that? The minutes of the June meeting, released earlier this month, signalled that a September hike is a strong possibility. Members noted that “monetary policy had still more ground to cover” and “the Governing Council could consider increasing interest rates beyond July, if necessary.”
ECB policy makers will make their rate determinations based on economic data, but that doesn’t mean the decision will be clear-cut. The eurozone economy is struggling, which would support a pause. At the same time, inflation dropped to 5.5% in June, which is almost triple the ECB’s target of 2%. Inflation remains the ECB’s number one priority, which could mean another rate hike in September unless there is a sharp drop in inflation or a serious deterioration in economic growth.
- EUR/USD is testing resistance at 1.1063. The next resistance line is 1.1170
- There is support at 1.1002 and 1.0895
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