BNY Mellon Global Markets – Weekly Market Commentary


As expected, the Fed remained on hold for a record 82nd consecutive month, as the Fed Funds target rate remains in the 0-25 bps range. Since the market has been assigning a near zero probability to a rate hike this month, there was little in the way of fireworks expected from this decision. What we thought would potentially create volatility was either the continued indication for a hike later this year or a tonal change that would affirm the market’s expectations that the Fed would remain on hold until the end of 1Q:16. Well, the jury is in and what we got was the former in a mostly hawkish policy statement, at least versus dovish market expectations. The key takeaways for us was the upgrade of consumer and business spending, which are now considered solid versus moderately increasing. The longer discussion over global market developments from the September statement was removed and replaced with a generic “we will monitor global economic and financial developments”. In a clearer sign that they are setting up the market for a forthcoming hike, the committee tweaked a sentence to specifically point to a December hike if mandated employment and inflation goals continue to progress. The voting was essentially unchanged, with only Jeffrey Lacker dissenting on grounds that a hike this month was appropriate. Therefore, the Board members that raised 2016 as a better target essentially fell in line with the Chairman, who seems to still favor a December hike.

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