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With a rate rise in the books investors get to hear from a handful of Federal Reserve speakers next week. On the geo-political front a hearing on Russia’s interference in the US presidential election and a meeting on combatting Isis take the spotlight.
Here’s what to watch in the coming days.
While the Federal Reserve decided to raise interest rates for the third time since the financial crisis, chair Janet Yellen reiterated that the pace of rate rises would be gradual and the so-called dot plot continued to signal just two additional rate rises this year. The move was interpreted by some as a dovish hike and Fed speakers could get the chance to refute that next week.
“Moreover, we’d also look for clarification on the addition of ‘symmetric’ in the press statement when it came to defining the inflation reaction function,” strategists at RBC Capital Markets said. “Our sense is that this was in an effort to put an end to inflation level targeting—also not a dovish development.”
Ms Yellen will deliver the opening keynote at the Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference in Washington on Thursday. Through the week, investors also get to hear from voting members of the monetary policy setting Federal Open Market Committee, including Chicago Fed president Charles Evans, Dallas Fed president Robert Kaplan and Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari — the only voting FOMC member to dissent at the March meeting and who has explained his rationale for the move on Friday.
On the economic data front, the calendar is fairly light but investors will keep an eye on fourth quarter current account deficit figures due Tuesday and durable goods orders slated for Friday.
At the start of the year a declassified report — compiled by the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency — alleged that Russian president Vladimir Putin had personally approved an influence campaign, that included cyber attacks aimed at interfering with the presidential election in November. Undermining faith in the US democratic process and denigrating Hillary Clinton and harming her electibility were goals of the influence campaign, the report showed.
And on Monday, the US House Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing on its investigation into Russia’s interference. FBI Director James Comey has been asked to testify, along with National Security Agency chief Mike Rogers.
Fight against Isis
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled on Wednesday to head a two-day meeting of leaders from the 68-member nations of the Global Coalition to counter Isis. Though the Coalition regularly meets at the so-called Small Group level, the meeting in Washington will be the first of the full coalition since December 2014.
Discussions are expected centre on the coalition’s multiple lines of effort, including military, foreign terrorist fighters, counterterrorist financing and stabilisation of liberated areas. Moreover, the ministers are also expected to discuss the humanitarian crises in Iraq and Syria.