Fed Paves The Way For Broad Dollar Rally

Lior Alkalay - INO.com Contributor - Forex

The last FOMC meeting for 2016 has concluded, and the outcome is a slightly more hawkish tone than investors initially expected. The Fed has hiked the federal fund’s target rate by 25bps to 0.75% for the second time in two years. However, this hike was largely in line with the consensus expectations.

What caught investors by surprise was the revision of the Fed’s projection for rates in 2017. A revision that demonstrates that the median of estimates by the Federal Reserve members point to not two rate hikes, as in the September meeting, but three. Experience suggests that investors should take the Fed’s revision with a pinch of salt. After all, it was only this year that we witnessed the Federal Reserve revise its rate projections down, a move that followed an increase earlier in the year. And yet, judging by the reaction of Treasuries and the dollar, this revision is taken with some gravity. In fact, it paves the way for another dollar higher. The question is why? Continue reading "Fed Paves The Way For Broad Dollar Rally"

BoE Easing Will Be Short-Lived

Lior Alkalay - INO.com Contributor - Forex

The UK economy is sending mixed signals of resilient performance and negative sentiment. The latest PMI readings, both in services and manufacturing, plunged below 50, signaling a contraction. Consumer confidence took a nosedive to -12 in July from a -1 reading just a month before. And in the real estate sector, the latest survey of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors of estate agents showed that only 23% of the participants expected housing prices to rise in the next twelve months.

The Bank of England, at its August meeting, responded with sweeping measures to ease monetary conditions. The BoE cut the benchmark interest rate by 25 bps to 0.25%, eased capital requirements for UK banks which will free up £150 billion of liquidity, and the “crown jewel” – a new round of £60 billion in Quantitative Easing, bringing the QE total to £435 billion.

Nevertheless, Key data released in the UK this week suggests that the overall economy is rather resilient, with unemployment holding at 4.9% and core inflation falling only moderately, from 1.4% to 1.3% year-on-year.

So where is UK economy heading? Continue reading "BoE Easing Will Be Short-Lived"

Fed Might Still Raise Rates

Lior Alkalay - INO.com Contributor - Forex

Not too long ago, July was marked as THE month that the Fed would raise its benchmark rate for the second time in a year. The last time the Fed hiked rates twice in the same calendar year was a decade ago. Now, in the wake of the Brexit shocker, Bloomberg reports markets are pushing the probability of the next rate hike towards the end of 2018. Are investors overly pessimistic? Here are some factors to consider.

Brexit Impact on the US

“Kicking the can” has been a common analogy for the EU’s handling of the Greek debt crisis. In fact, until this day, from way back in 2010 when the crisis over Greece’s debt first erupted, the Greek crisis has not been resolved. Now, with EU leaders and the UK deeply divided on the timing and execution of Brexit, the UK could delay the activation of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – at least until it gets an easy way out of the EU. A slow and drawn out Brexit, while negative for the UK economy in the immediate term due to uncertainty, may have only minimal impact on the US economy in the same time horizon. A slow, drawn out Brexit does not create shocks, and without the threat of an immediate shock, the US economy should weather the transition well. Continue reading "Fed Might Still Raise Rates"

Fed Watch: December Rate Hike Likely Based on Fed Official's Language

Matt Thalman - INO.com Contributor - ETFs

Over the past few weeks, the likelihood of a December rate hike by the Federal Reserve Bank has grown substantially. Both economic data and hints from a number of Federal Reserve policymakers now point towards a December rate hike and now on Wall Street 70% of investors polled believe a rate hike in December is possible. So let us take a look at the data and what Fed officials are saying that is making investors believe a hike is coming.


One of the most compelling data points is the October jobs number. Expected to come in at 185,000, but blew that figure out of the water when actually coming in at 271,000. The unemployment rate fell to 5%, from 5.1% and average hourly earnings rose 0.4% for the month. Furthermore, the increase in pay on a year-over-year basis was 2.5%, the highest increase the jobs market has seen since July 2009. Continue reading "Fed Watch: December Rate Hike Likely Based on Fed Official's Language"

Mario Draghi Must Act Now

Lior Alkalay - INO.com Contributor - Forex

The coming weeks could be pivotal ones for the Euro. This time, it isn’t because of a threat to its existence or a member state’s bankruptcy. No, this time, it will be because of the actions of Mario Draghi and the European Central Bank. The ECB chief has the power to ignite the momentum desperately needed to awaken the Eurozone from its economic stupor. Simply put, Mario Draghi must push the Euro below 1 Dollar.

The Eurozone Lately

When we examine the latest trends in the Eurozone, we do see some positive signs. Exports have recovered, and industrial production has increased, as well. On the consumer front, retail sales have also been accelerating nicely. On top of that, the Eurozone’s GDP growth rate has been inching up, albeit at a very moderate pace. Continue reading "Mario Draghi Must Act Now"