Market Update – September 21 – Stocks fade, USD up as CBs spring on

It was Fed Day and it did not disappoint. As universally expected, the result of the FOMC was a “hawkish hold.”

But we and the markets got a little more than bargained for as Chair Powell and the FOMC revealed an even more restrictive policy stance than anticipated, and clearly signaled a higher for longer stance. The markets got the message loud and clear. Stocks and bond markets are under pressure, after the Fed decision hit risk appetite. The FOMC kept rates on hold yesterday, but signalled that another hike is in the cards later in the year.

Switzerland’s SNB surprised by keeping rates on hold. Expectations had been for another 25 bp hike, but after the recent drop in inflation, the SNB decided to keep policy settings unchanged. The statement stressed that “the significant tightening of monetary policy over recent quarters is countering remaining inflation pressure”, although it left the door open to another hike by saying that “it cannot be ruled out that further tightening of monetary policy may become necessary”. The central bank’s new forecasts put inflation at 2.2% in 2023 and 2024, before a drop to 1.9% in 2025.

  • FX – USDIndex has lifted to 105.35 on the Fed outlook and also support from haven demand. It holds above the 105 mark for a fifth straight session. EURUSD extended to 1.0616 lows, while GBPUSD broke 1.2300, breaching its 6-month support level, ahead of BOE rate decision. The Yen struggled and USDJPY lifted to 148.45. It has currently pulled back down to 148.15.
  • Stocks – JPN225 and ASX lost -1.4% overnight, after a lower close on Wall Street and European as well as US futures are also in the red. The US100 closed -1.53% in the red, with the US500 down -0.94% while the US30 was off -0.22%.
  • Commodities – USOil under $89 per barrel, as the changed rate outlook weighed on demand expectations.
  • Gold has continued to trade lower at day’s low $1924.10 as markets wait for the BOE announcement.

Today: BOE Interest Rate Decision and Press Conference, US Initial Jobless Claims, Existing Home Sales, ECB President Lagarde speech.

Interesting Mover: CHFJPY has lost -1.03% so far today after the SNB announcement.


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Andria Pichidi

Market Analyst

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