Central Banks Continue the ‘Surprise’ Theme

After years of carefully telegraphing their outlooks to the market, central bankers are loosening up with surprise parties, with Singapore the latest to jump in.

“The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is the third central bank in Asia to significantly surprise the market (after the Bank of Japan and the Reserve Bank of India) and the market will increasingly question who will be next,” HSBC said in a note Wednesday.

The Singapore central bank’s move Wednesday to ease between its usual April and October meetings follows in the footsteps of larger-than-expected quantitative easing steps from the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) shock move to unpeg its currency from the euro and slice its interest rates deeper into negative territory. Last week, the Bank of Canada also surprised markets by cutting its benchmark rate for the first time since 2010.


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