The consensus is that the Federal Reserve will raise rates by 25 basis points on June 14. And it’s a strong consensus, to put it mildly with the CME Fed Watch tool calculating that the Fed Funds Futures market is pricing in a 95.8% chance of an interest rate increase.
And with the Fed itself going into its usual pre-meeting quiet period, there are no speeches and no testimony to upset that consensus. The biggest reason to believe that the consensus is right is that the odds of an interest rate increase are so high and the Fed has done nothing to gtry to talk the market down from that belief. The Fed hates to surprise the market and a decision not to raise interest rates on June 14 would certainly qualify as a surprise.
Which leaves an interest rate move on June 14 as close to a non-event. If the Fed does what the market expects, there won’t be much, if any, reaction.
Which doesn’t mean there isn’t nervousness around the event–just that the focus of that worry isn’t a June increase but what come after. The consensus right now is that the Fed won’t move to raise interest rates after the June meeting until 2018. But it’s not an especially strong consensus. The CME Fed Watch site gives the odds of an additional interest rate increase by the December 13 meeting at just slightly over 50%.
So you can expect investors and traders to listen very carefully to the Fed’s statement and press conference next week for any signs of what the Fed is thinking about a third interest rate increase in 2017. The bond market looks to have priced in “two and done” with the yield on th 10-year U.S. Treasury at just 2.18% today, June 5.
The other bit of mild drama about the Fed’s June 14 interest rate decision actually comes from the European Central Bank this week when central bank president Mario Draghi speaks after the bank’s Thursday, June 8 meeting. It’s unlikely that the bank will decide to do anything to change its program of asset purchases but financial markets want to hear if Draghi says anything about growth or inflation in the EuroZone that might indicate when the ECB will start to wind up its purchases of bonds and asset-backed securities. The time table on that decision will affect the price of euro versus the dollar and the attractiveness of U.S. Treasuries versus EuroZone government bonds. The sooner the ECB decides to wind up those asset purchases, the weaker the U.S. dollar and the more downward pressure on Treasury yields.