Post-Powell Rally Continues as Swiss Deliver a Surprise Rate Cut

Investors responded positively late yesterday to a stay the course Fed decision which saw no change to interest rates, no change to the member forecast of 3 rate cuts this year, no change to the neutral tone with inflation still not subdued, and no change to Quantitative Tightening. Traders ignored the Fed slowing the forecast pace of rate cuts for 2025 and beyond but did applaud Fed members raising their 2024 US GDP growth forecast to 2.1% from 1.4% and raised its interest rate forecasts for 2025 and beyond.

Overseas, central banks continue to send mixed signals. This morning, the Swiss National Bank announced a surprise interest rate cut of 0.25% to 1.50%, while Taiwan’s central bank raised its benchmark rate to 2.00% from 1.875%. The Bank of England kept is benchmark interest rate steady with no MPC members voting for a rate high this time around. Gold is soaring on the Swiss news up 2.2% so far today and trading above $2,200/oz.

In economic news this morning, Australia put out a spectacular job report (116K vs street 40K and previous 15K). Flash PMI reports have been mixed. Generally speaking, Flash Manufacturing PMI numbers have come in below 50 in contraction territory, down from last month and below expectations. Flash Service PMI reports generally came in above 50 and on the rise from last month, but mixed relative to expectations. US Flash Manufacturing (street 51.7) and Flash Services (street 52.0) reports are due at 9:45 am EDT.

US weekly initial jobless claims (210K vs street 215K). Canada new house prices are due at 9:30 am EDT, followed by US existing home sales at 10:00 am EDT, followed by Canada and UK retail sales tomorrow morning.

Reddit completed its IPO last night, pricing it at the top end of a $31.00 to $34.00 guidance range, and makes it’s trading debut today under the symbol RDDT. How it acts on and following the open may provide an indication of investor confidence and risk appetite. On that note, cryptocurrencies are bouncing back today with Bitoin up 2.3% and Ether up 4.8% after selling off earlier in the week.

Tomorrow is Quadruple Witching Day, so we may see some positioning ahead of that today but for the moment, equity markets remain in rally mode. US index futures are up 0.2&-0.7%, with S&P 500 futures trading above 5,300, and Dow Futures breaking out over 40,000 for the first time. Over in Europe, the Dax is up 0.5% and the FTSE is up 1.5% as investors take the Bank of England MPC vote as a downshift from hawkish to neutral. The US 10-year treasury note yield continues to backslide, trading near 4.23%. In commodity action, Copper is up 0.5% while US crude oil is down 0.25%.

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