FOMC meeting minutes closely scrutinized

18 November,, Lagos – Yesterday was all about inflation reports. New Zealand’s quarterly inflation expectations, UK consumer price index (CPI) and US CPI as well. Mixed reports from these regions contributed to volatility in the currency markets, with both the sterling and the greenback ending the day mixed against their major counterparts.

Today is quite a low-key day in terms of economic reports. However, the FOMC meeting minutes is bound to throw some excitement into the markets as the report will shed more light into the Fed’s decision to keep rates on hold at their last meeting, having sent out a clear message “December rate hike is a possibility”.


UK’s inflation data showed two consecutive months of deflationary pressure in the country. The CPI figure remains at -0.1 percent, with food and alcohol prices, along with university tuition fees being the main downward drivers. This downplayed upward pressure from clothing and footwear. However, inflation is expected to turn positive when the data for November is released next month. The reason is that the consumer prices index (CPI) dipped by 0.3% in November 2014 due to the falling cost of crude oil. Unless that decline is repeated this November, which won’t be, the annual inflation rate will mechanically rise.

US CPI and building permits

The US inflation report depicted a 0.2 percent increase in October inflation on a seasonally adjusted basis, along with the core CPI which coming at 0.2 percent, marking the strongest back-to-back readings since May and April. The report was in line with expectations for a December Fed hike as the trend in price pressures appears to have stabilized.

The building permits data will be released by 1:30 P.M GMT. It is forecast to show a 1.15M annualized number of new residential building permits issued during the previous month.

The high point of the day will be the FOMC meeting minutes by 7:00 P.M GMT. This report will be keenly scrutinized for further hints to determine how likely it is for the central bank to make a move next month.

The dollar remains strong, while the Euro has continued its plunge in the aftermath effect of the horrid Paris attacks.

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