Federal Reserve minutes signal next rate rise

Minutes released today from the US Federal Reserve’s January policy meeting have revealed that many of its members are ready to raise interest rates again in the near future. Other members, however, expressed concerns about uncertainty over the effects of President Trump’s policies – such as tax cuts and fiscal spending – and maintained that the central bank should be prepared to take action if the US economy falters from its recent strong performance. The next meeting is due on the 14th March, at which time futures are pricing in a 34% chance of a rate hike, showing a degree of scepticism. The market reaction has been relatively muted as equity markets stall to an extent. The UK FTSE 100 is flat off the news, yet European markets are creeping upwards. In the US, Futures suggest equity markets will rise marginally, whilst US bond yields are falling as safer assets are bought.