No Fed hike this week but don’t rule out moreWASHINGTON, D.C.: The US Federal Reserve will hold its fire this week, leaving interest rates untouched and letting markets calm down after a tumultuous end to 2018. Coming off Wall Street’s worst December since the Great Depression and amid mounting fears about the global economy, Fed policymakers are now unanimously hammering a single message: they will be “patient” before pulling the trigger again. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is likely to stick to that script when he announces the Federal Open Market Committee’s latest monetary policy decision on Wednesday. Futures markets are wagering the central bank will actually stand pat for all of 2019, with a growing share betting the Fed could even begin cutting interest rates as soon as next December. Maybe they should think again.While a cold wind blew at the end of last year, gathering conditions suggest the Fed could feel compelled to raise the key lending rate as soon as the spring, economists say. “I think the danger here now is that markets are now expecting nothing,” Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics said in a presentation on monetary policy.“The Fed could swing around on a dime once it… Read full this story
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