Global equities and US dollar mixed ahead of Fed meeting Wednesday

Asian equities were generally lower in contrast to European which were generally higher, and the US S&P500 opened up nearly flat. Traders look forward to Wednesday when the Federal Reserve announces its monetary policy decision. No rate change is expected, but it might tweak its bond-buying program. Investors are also digesting implications of a Biden administration tax hike to pay for the pandemic relief bill. The Bank of England meets Thursday and Bank of Japan on Friday – neither is expected to change policy. Global bond yields are generally firm – the UST 10-Year at 1.62%, oil is steady and gold slightly higher.

Economic data and events:


Empire State Manufacturing Survey (Mar)


NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market (Mar)

US Retail Sales (Feb)

US Industrial Production (Feb)


US Housing Starts (Feb)

US Federal Reserve Bank/FOMC decision


US Leading Economic Index (Feb)

US Initial Jobless Claims (March 13)

The Bank of England policy announcement


The Bank of Japan policy announcement

  • FX Rates
    March 15, 2021

    Rates are not real time. Rates are today's indicative mid-market rates as of time of publishing, which may vary. Please contact SVB for a current quote.

  • USD

    The US dollar is mixed against peer currencies – outperforming the AUD and EUR and underperforming the ILS and INR. Most other G-10 currencies barely moved. Traders digest news of a potential US Federal tax hike, the first since 1993, and Wednesday’s FOMC meeting, when no rate change is expected. All eyes will be on the Fed’s DOT Plot, which shows FOMC members’ expectations of future Fed rate levels. Comments by Fed Chair Powell will be important as he deals with inflation risks and the possibility of the US economy essentially reopening as early as Q2.


    The UK pound is virtually unchanged after fluctuated in a 50 pip range overnight. Traders await Thursday’s Bank of England meeting, when no change is expected along with a cautious economic and policy outlook. Upbeat COVID vaccine news is providing a tail wind to expectations of a healthy economic recovery.


    The euro is slightly lower following news that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party suffered its worst ever defeat in regional polls. This was a result of news that a CDU official had received a large commission on deals to purchase Covid face masks. The polls were also seen as a crucial test ahead of Germany’s national election in September.


    The Canadian dollar gained for the fifth straight day, with the USD/CAD reaching its lowest level since February 2018. This was after news that Canada’s Manufacturing Sales for January and Existing Home Sales for February were both much better than expected.


    The Japanese yen edged lower ahead of the Bank of Japan’s Friday meeting. While no change in policy is expected, officials may be increasingly dovish in their comments.

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Scott Petruska, CFA
Scott Petruska, CFA

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