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Markets react to FOMC minutes

On Wednesday, the US preliminary GDP reading disappointed markets (0.2% vs 1% expected). Throughout the US trading session the USD weakened against the major currencies after the disappointing print. GBPUSD traded towards the highest level of 2015 (1.5550), trading to a session high of 1.54960. EURUSD was bid on the USD weakness, breaking firmly above 1.10, then 1.11 and currently 1.1230.

FOMC decision

At 19:00 (London) the FOMC rate decision was released, with as markets had expected a unanimous vote to leave interest rates unchanged. No voters dissented with the FOMC minutes noting slower economic growth and pace of job increases. The minutes repeated March’s guidance of rate hike being dependent on economic data.  The rate decision was accompanied by a statement, but there wasn’t a press conference with Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

Fed watcher Hilsenrath summarised in the WSJ the FOMC statement as “vague on rate-hike time, but sees slower growth as blip.”

Looking ahead to data releases today;

10:00am London

Eurozone Unemployment | Expected: 11.2%

Eurozone CPI YoY | Expected: 0.0%

13:30 London

US Continuing Jobless Claims | Expected: 2.3m

US Initial Jobless Claims | Expected: 290,000

US Employment Cost Index Q1 | Expected: 0.6%

Current market prices:

EURUSD: 1.1245

GBPUSD: 1.5480

USDJPY: 1.118.80

Gold: $1205/oz

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