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Federal Reserve Sees no Rate Hike in 2019

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  • Federal Reserve Sees no Rate Hike in 2019

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said interest rates could remain unchanged for a long time as global risks continue to weigh on economic growth and inflation rate remains muted.

“We don’t see data coming in that suggest that we should move in either direction. They suggest that we should remain patient and let the situation clarify itself over time,” he told a press conference Wednesday after officials slashed their projected interest-rate increases this year to zero from two. “It may be some time before the outlook for jobs and inflation calls clearly for a change in policy.”

Policymakers also announced that the central bank will slow down on balance sheet normalization stating from May, and put an end to it in September. The new policy approach suggests the Federal Reserve is wary of possible global uncertainties that could impact economic outlook and disrupt the ongoing progress in the U.S.

President Trump had accused the Fed of moving too aggressive in terms of the rate policy, saying rising interest rates would impact exports and erode companies profitability. The Fed, however, said its decision was based on economic reality and not political.

Policymakers left the target range of the federal funds rate at 2.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

The Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell emphasized the danger of weak global price pressures during his post-meeting press conference, adding that it is ‘one of the major challenges of our time.’ He signalled that falling price gains leave the apex bank room to proceed with caution.

“I don’t feel that we have kind of convincingly achieved our 2 percent mandate in a symmetrical way,” he said. “That gives us the ability to be patient, and not move until we see that our target goals are being achieved.”

The statement caught some Fed watchers by surprise as most experts had predicted at least one rate increase in 2019.

“It was very dovish,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC. “It suggests that the Fed has jumped to the conclusion that the weakening we have seen since the start of the year will be more fundamental and more persistent, rather than being temporary crosscurrents.”

The Fed’s report is expected to further boost capital outflow from the U.S. and the rest of developed economies struggling with global uncertainties and slowing economic growth.

Therefore, emerging economies with stable economic fundamentals will profit from the surge in capital outflow from most developed economies as global investors are likely to focus on riskier assets for profit in 2019.

The U.S. 10-year treasury yield dropped to its lowest level in over a year after the report, while dollar declined against other currencies.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday

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Crude oil

Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.

Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.

Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.

While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.

According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.

“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”

Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.

The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.

I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.

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Crude Oil

Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts

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opec

Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.

OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.

Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”

Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.

Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.

Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.

“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”

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Gold

Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin

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Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges

Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.

The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.

The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.

We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.

Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.

Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.

In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.

The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.

 

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