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Interest rate futures say Fed is all but done with hikes
Monday, December 24, 2018
The Federal Reserve is finished raising U.S. interest rates.
That is the message emerging from the interest rate futures market as Monday's full-blown flight from risk assets drove traders to price out nearly any prospect of further rate increases from the Fed, which raised rates again only last week.
Stocks fell sharply on Monday amid concern about slowing economic growth, the government shutdown, and reports that President Donald Trump, increasingly angry about the U.S. central bank's rate hikes, had discussed firing Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. Trump on Monday labeled the Fed as the "only problem" for the U.S. economy, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made unsuccessful efforts to soothe investors' concerns over Wall Street's deepening losses.
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The federal fund futures contract expiring in January 2020, watched closely as a gauge of where the Fed's benchmark overnight lending rate will be at the end of next year, surged 10.5 basis points in price on Monday.
That left the contract with an implied yield, which moves in the opposite direction of its price, of 2.41 percent, squarely within the current range for the Fed's target rate. ...
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