BNY Mellon Global Markets – Weekly Market Commentary


All eyes remain on the Fed as the market prepares for the first rate hike since 2006 and first rate change since 2008. As has been the case over the past several years, any hint of a rate hike has come with heightened volatility and this year has not been any different. The prospects of a September hike saw the biggest prices moves of the year occur in late summer and we are now looking at history potentially repeating itself. While this will likely be the most transparently communicated rate hike in history, questions and drama remain as the FOMC goes into its quiet period and we are left to our own devices until next Wednesday. Given that the odds of a hike next week now exceed 80%, the main focus of investors will quickly shift to the pace of hikes. While the Fed has successfully closed the gap between market expectations regarding a December hike, there remains a fairly sizeable difference when it comes to 2016 expectations. Futures point to only 2 hikes in 2016, in April and September, while the September dots indicate 4 hikes next year, presumably every quarter. Given the general flattening trend over the past few days, we infer that investors expect the Fed to provide a dovish view on 2016 when it raises rates on December 16th. We are not as convinced that this meeting will be the one that the Fed uses to back off projections, particularly as it stresses the continued improvement in the jobs picture. We instead expect a patient message, but one that keeps each gathering a live meeting, and wonder if that will meet market expectations.

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