The Euro and the British Pound extended gains immediately after Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference. EUR/USD hit a 10-month high at 1.1033 today.
The US Dollar sunk across the board as the market interpreted his remarks as a dovish tilt, despite the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raising rates by 25 basis points (bp) just prior, as forecast.
The European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of England (BoE) will be meeting later today, and both banks are anticipated to raise their respective rates by 50 bp.
Powell reiterated that rates would need to go higher, and he doesn’t see a cut this year. Interest rate futures are pricing in cuts. His mere mention of the word ‘disinflation’ seems to set markets alight with equities and bonds roaring higher.
Treasury yields dipped around 10 bp across the curve from the 2-year note and further out. The benchmark 10-year bond traded under 3.4%, a long way from the 4.33% peak seen in October last year
All the US equity indices finished their cash session higher, with the Nasdaq leading the charge, posting a 2% gain. APAC equities were boosted by the sentiment, with the tech sector leading the charge higher. Korea’s Kosdaq index was up over 1.7%.
Elsewhere, Australian building approvals were a massive beat, coming in at 18.5% month-on-month in December rather than the 1.0% forecast. AUD/USD went to a 7-month peak of 0.7158.
Crude oil sunk after Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed inventories increased by 4.1 million barrels last week, well above market estimates. The sell-off was somewhat mitigated later when the US Dollar collapsed.
The BoE and ECB monetary policy meetings will be the key focus today, with ECB President Lagarde speaking after the conclave. Later, the US will see durable goods and factory goods order data.