US Fed Cuts Interest Rates for Third Time in as Many Meetings

Xe Corporate APAC

October 30, 2019 2 min read

The AUDUSD opens at 0.6892 (mid-rate) and the NZDUSD opens at 0.6371 (mid-rate) this morning.

As widely expected the Federal Reserve cut its target interest rate by 25bps for the third time in as many meetings. The Fed cited a sharp decline in business fixed investments along with slowing exports as contributing factors in their decision to reduce their target rate to 1.5% - 1.75%.

Once again the decision wasn’t unanimous with Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Esther George of Kansas City voting to keep rates on hold in the 8-2 vote count.

In a slight change to the wording the Fed replaced “will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion” with ‘will assess the appropriate path” of the Fed funds rate. The change in the wording does not indicate that the Fed are moving away from an easing bias but would suggest that the Fed are on hold for the rest of the year.

Earlier in the evening, US economic data releases were better than expected with the Commerce Department reporting gross domestic product in the third quarter increased by 1.9% marginally slower than Q2’s 2.0% increase but ahead of the forecast 1.7% increase, while payroll processor ADP reported private sector employment rose by 125k jobs in October, beating forecasts of a 120k jobs increase.

The CAD is the weakest performing of the G10 currencies after kept its cash rate on hold at 1.75%, but signalled to the market that if had moved from a neutral to an easing bias. The Central bank cut their outlook for global economic growth in 2019 to 2.9% and said Canada’s gross domestic product will expand only 1.6% compared with a previous estimate of 2.0%.

Global equity markets remain mixed - Dow +0.02%, S&P 500 +0.04%, FTSE +0.34%, DAX -0.23%, CAC +0.45%, Nikkei -0.57%, Shanghai -0.50%

Gold prices are marginally higher, up 0.5% trading at $1,493 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have fallen sharply, down 2.3%, trading at $54.69 a barrel.

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