The US Federal Reserve is widely expected to leave interest rates--currently at a 22-year high of between 5.25% to 5.5%--unchanged during the September 19-20 meeting as August core inflation was mostly in line with expectations and the economy is looking more resilient.
According to the CME FedWatch tool on Wednesday, bankers and traders see a 99% chance of the Fed skipping a rate hike this month. They also see a nearly 70% chance of the Fed leaving rates unchanged in November, CME's data showed.
In its battle to curb inflation, the Fed has raised rates 11 times consecutively in 17 months to the current level. The outcome of the two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting is due to be announced on Wednesday.
"We expect the Fed to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 5.25-5.5% at the September FOMC meeting. This outcome would be consistent with both recent
Fed communications and current market pricing," said analysts at BofA Securities in a recent note.
Capital Economics also expects the Fed to hold rates unchanged for now but expect a rate cut next year. "We continue to expect the Fed’s next move to be a rate cut in early 2024, with a rapid decline in inflation convincing officials to cut more aggressively than markets are pricing in," economist Andrew Hunter said in a recent note.
However, some analysts believe the US monetary authority could hike the rates once more before the year-end.
"We expect the Fed to signal that a further rate hike in the near future cannot be ruled out. Inflation is still well above target, and economic data has suggested that the economy, unlike projections, is in a mini cycle of re-acceleration," said Gary Dugan Chief Investment Officer, Dalma Capital, in a recent note.
In the event the US central bank does hike rates a few of its GCC counterparts are likely to mirror the move as their currencies are pegged to the dollar.
(Reporting by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)