Dollar up ahead of Fed minutes

US dollar rebounds ahead of government debt auctions

Price of Gold Fundamental Daily Forecast – Price Action Suggests Traders are Expecting Hawkish Minutes

The new chairman appears before the House Financial Services Committee for his semi-annual testimony on February 28, and economic reports since the Federal Open Market Committee last met are unlikely to change the message from the January policy statement that said "further gradual increases" in interest rates are in store for the economy.

Most Asian markets sank yesterday, fueling fears of fresh volatility after the minutes fanned expectations that United States interest rates would rise further.

A number of participants "indicated that they had marked up their forecasts for economic growth in the near term relative to those made for the December meeting".

Unemployment, he forecast, will fall from 4.1 percent now to 3.6 percent by the middle of next year before rising back up a few tenths of a percentage point, while job growth will remain strong. In January, the wages in the USA rose by 2.9%.

As 10-year Treasury note yields approach 3%, minutes from the Fed's January meeting will offer some insights into how widespread the renewed inflation worries are among policymakers themselves.

Soon, marquee Fed speeches, especially congressional testimony by new Fed chair Jerome Powell next month, will set the tone for stocks and bonds.

As signs of faster USA inflation boost financial market expectations for three or even more interest rate hikes this year, some US central bankers are sticking to their view that aggressive policy tightening is unnecessary.

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Investors and traders have been nervous lately about economic growth running too hot and inflation overshooting and whether those conditions might lead the Fed to increase rates more aggressively than planned. That would likely cause consumer rates such as mortgage rates to rise more quickly.

Participants also discussed numerous uncertainties about the outlook, the minutes showed.

Several also noted the "considerable uncertainty" about the likely impact corporate tax cuts would have on investment, and predicted any wage increases likely would come in the form of one-time bonuses.

Wall Street was firmer approaching midday in NY.

But others say they think the central bank will discount those developments and focus instead on the stimulative effects of the Republicans' $1.5 trillion tax cut and the additional spending from the budget deal.

That would "allow participants to assess whether incoming information on inflation showed that it was solidly on track toward the committee's objective", they said.

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