Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen had a press conference at 2:30 this afternoon after completion of the March meeting. This blog is being posted prior to the announcement as our firm will be attending an industry event this evening. Many expect no rate change today, but a few professionals think the Fed could surprise the markets. Everyone will be reviewing the statement and the press conference for language concerning how many more rate increases are likely to occur this year. The U.S. Dollar was rising this morning before the news and markets were tepid this morning; as traders were hesitant to put trades on before the news. The Bank of Japan also announced this week, keeping their monetary policy the same for now; but providing guidance that rates could go as low as 0.5% negative in the near future. Europe is little changed after the announcement from Mario Draghi increasing QE, allowing the ECB to purchase Corporate Bonds and lowering of rates. The ECB is now purchasing on a monthly basis and yearly basis, more bonds than our Federal Reserve did at the height of their purchases. This is interesting as it portends more weakness ahead. Central Banks across the world are dominating the news, but the results for the markets have waned significantly from prior years.
We are sending out a link to our February Hedge Fund commentary, check your emails Friday. All clients in the Hedge Fund receive a monthly letter along with their statement each month. This commentary will take the place of our former Quarterly Outlook and will be posted for others via the blog. Enjoy the evening and expect more info on the Federal Reserve later this week.