Federal Reserve initiates hiking cycle

Today's news headlines:

‘Fed announces first rate rise since 2018 amid surging inflation’. The Federal Reserve opted to raise interest rates by 25 basis points in yesterday’s monetary policy meeting. Tight conditions in the labour market and inflation sitting at a 40-year high pushed the US central bank to act. This came despite geopolitical concerns surrounding the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the uncertainty on growth implications. The dot plot, which indicates Fed officials’ projections for interest rate hikes, was updated. It moved to six 0.25% rate rises for 2022, with balance sheet reductions expected to be announced in May. (Financial Times) 

‘US to send armed drones to Ukraine following Zelensky’s plea for help’. US President Joe Biden announced a $1bn military support package for Ukraine as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed congress yesterday. Around 100 drones and anti-aircraft weaponry is expected to be provided as negotiations between Russia and Ukraine continue with news of a potential peace plan in progress. Biden labelled Vladimir Putin a ‘war criminal’, publicly denouncing the leader in the face of Russia’s recent bombing of civilians. (Financial Times)


Today

Asian markets closed higher overnight, buoyed by talks of more support for financial markets from the Chinese government. European markets have opened in positive territory as Russia-Ukraine peace talks appear hopeful. The US Dollar Index is trading lower this morning while oil prices move to the upside.

Events

Australia Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (est. 4.1%)
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde speaks: 9:30AM
Bank of England Monetary Policy meeting: 12:00PM
US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index: 12:30PM
US Unemployment Claims: 12:30PM
US Industrial Production m/m: 1:15PM

Interbank rates:

GBP/USD – 1.3175
GBP/EUR – 1.1925
EUR/USD – 1.1047
USD/CAD – 1.2659

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