Fed Panel Discussion Eyed, Yen Tests BoJ Resolve

U.S. futures look to be paring yesterday’s gains ahead of the open on Thursday, as investors look towards this evenings panel discussion with Fed Chair’s past and present.

The program is apparently entitled “When the Fed speaks, the world listens” and that will certainly be the case when Janet Yellen, Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker talk later on. It’s not clear exactly how much they will discuss current monetary policy or the possible path of it going forward but should they touch on this then the markets could work themselves up into a bit of a frenzy.

The minutes from the March ECB meeting will also be released today and should shed further light on the events that led up to the quite substantial stimulus program that was announced shortly after. It will be interesting to see just how large the consensus was on this matter and whether Jens Weidmann’s vote would have made the difference in it being agreed.

Moreover, we could get some insight into whether we can expect more stimulus this year and if so, what avenue the ECB would consider going down given that it appears to fast be running out of options. We’ll also hear from ECB President Mario Draghi when he speaks in Lisbon, which may also provide some insight into the central bank’s direction going forward.

Brent and WTI crude are both trading slightly lower on the day at the moment having made strong gains on Wednesday after EIA confirmed what API indicated the day before, that oil inventories experienced their biggest fall since the start of the year, last week, against expectations of another decent increase. Meanwhile the yen is soaring again today as traders seek to test the resolve of the Japanese central bank and finance ministry amid talks of possible intervention to put an end to its rapid appreciation. The dollar is now trading at the lowest level since October 2014 against the yen and the sell-off is showing no sign of abating.

Economic Calendar

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA at OANDA
Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a market analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary. His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and SKY News. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.
Craig Erlam