Markets Prepare for Series of Major Interest Rate Decisions

Chris Lee

Events conspired to bring the forex trading markets four major currency interest rate decisions at once across Wednesday and into Thursday.

The Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank are all expected to announce their new rates over the course of the next few days.

Some of the currencies which stand to be most affected by the changes did not seem to show much worry over the course of Tuesday and into Wednesday.

The US dollar, for example, was at its highest point in seven weeks in its pair with the Japanese yen.

It was seen at 108.20 yen at one stage as trading got underway on Wednesday.

The yen’s recent run of good luck, which had mostly been fuelled by an upwards shift in oil prices, appeared to have run out.

The pound was also high, this time in its pair with the US dollar.

It was recorded at $1.2487 at one stage, which meant it continued to benefit from its 0.6% gain which it accrued on Tuesday.

However, underlying sentiment – which is a deeper look at the longer term performance of the currency – revealed that there were still big question marks among traders about the country’s departure from the EU.

Parliament in the UK is currently prorogued, meaning that it will not sit or discuss any matters to do with Brexit for the foreseeable future.

Political parties in the country are also holding party conferences, meaning the rough and tumble of daily politics will not be taking place.

However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has continued to insist that the country will be taken out of the European Union on 31st October whether or not there is a deal in place.

The Bank of England is expected to hold interest rates steady at 0.75%.

The Federal Reserve, though, is expected to make a rate cut equalling a quarter of percentage point.

The global surge in oil prices at the weekend appeared to have subsided.

Prices went down by 6% over the course of Tuesday.

An attack on an oil refinery in Saudi Arabia at the weekend was believed to be the cause of the rise.

While there has not yet been a formal confirmation of exactly what took place and why, many blamed Iran for the drone-led attacks.

Wednesday’s big event will be the meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee at 6pm GMT.

Rates are expected to be cut by 25 basis points.

The Federal Reserve is technically a confederation of central banks in each region of the US.

This means that many smaller Federal Reserves exist, and they can act to some extent autonomously.

In what some may seem to be a precursor to later national Federal Reserve action, the New York Federal Reserve on Tuesday announced that it had added $53.15bn to finance using a tool called “overnight repos”.

Repos are a way for banks to raise funds more easily through the use of securities.

The New York Federal Reserve has not made this particular move for over 10 years – meaning it was interpreted by markets as quite a significant decision.

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