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Fed pause BoE hike BoJ surprise

The Federal Reserve is widely anticipated to pause its rate hiking cycle when it meets this week, whilst across the pond the Bank of England is expected to raise rates again, although it might also signal that it’s at the finish line. The Swiss National Bank and Bank of Japan complete another busy week for central bank action in the markets.


Here are the week’s key events:


It’s a relatively slow start to the trading week for global markets. Tokyo will be closed as Japan observes a national holiday, Germany’s Buba report is scheduled, and there is some housing market data from the US and Canada to look out for. The chief focus for market participants will be the run into the Federal Reserve meeting later in the week.



Minutes from the latest Reserve Bank of Australia meeting are due out, offering some more colour around the decision to pause interest rate hikes in August and what might come in Q4. Final CPI inflation readings for the euro area will be released, signalling how close the ECB is to target. Later on, markets await Canada’s latest CPI inflation data and some fresh housing market figures from the US in the form of building permits.



It’s Fed day and the market is all-in on anticipating the FOMC votes to pause hikes. The main question overhanging the meeting is on the dot plot. With the latest round of economic projections due we will see whether policymakers still see one more hike this year. If the dots are the same as June, markets could move to price in a higher likelihood the Fed hikes in November and push back on when the Fed starts to cut. If the median dot is lower than the 5.6% forecast in June, then it could be the signal to the market that the Fed is done. UK CPI inflation will be closely watched ahead of Thursday’s central bank meeting.



The Bank of England is in a tougher place than many central banks as growth is stalling whilst inflation and wage growth remains too high. The market anticipates the BoE carries out another hike but there is huge uncertainty about the future path of monetary policy and even this meeting’s outcome is far from assured. Also look out for the Swiss National Bank decision, weekly US unemployment claims and the Philly Fed manufacturing index.



Having shocked markets in July with a tweak to its yield curve control, the Bank of Japan is not expected to change policy this stime; but there will be plenty of focus on the communication and forward guidance after governor Ueda indicated recently that normalisation might be around the corner. Speaking to a Japanese paper, he said the BoJ could start to act once the 2% inflation target is close, which could mean hiking next year. Elsewhere traders should look out for the round of flash manufacturing and services PMIs from the Eurozone, UK and US.

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