On Wednesday the FOMC released the minutes for their meeting held June 18th and 19th. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke had signalled to the markets that he intended on tapering the quantitative easing later this year. The minutes stated that certain members of the FOMC proposed that a reduction in asset purchases could be warranted sooner than Bernanke’s “end of the year” stance.
Following the release of the minutes, the Fed Chairman gave a speech in Boston attempted to refocus investor attention away from the timescale for tapering and back to interest rates. Bernanke has previously highlighted the importance of economic stability and the reduction in the unemployment rate. This has led traders to attempt to second-guess the tapering timescale based on employment figures.
The minutes and the Chairman’s speech gave a clear picture to investors, QE’s days are number and interest rates could remain at record low levels for some time.