Central Bank Watch

Bank of Korea Hikes Base Rate to 1.75%

November 30, 2018

The Bank of Korea‘s benchmark interest rate has been raised by 25 basis points to 1.75%. This was the second such  increase of the cycle following an initial tightening in November 2017, which had been the first hike since 2011. In between, there were five 25-basis point cuts from March 2014 to June 2016. A […] More

Comments on the FOMC Minutes from November 7-8

November 29, 2018

FOMC minutes released today suggest a lesser shift in Fed policy intentions that markets perhaps assumed after yesterday’s speech by Chairman Powell. His remark regarding the federal funds rate perhaps now only being slightly lower than rate neutrality is ascribed in these minutes to just a few committee participants. A few participants, while viewing further […] More

Bank of Israel Raises Key Interest Rate

November 26, 2018

The Bank of Israel‘s key interest rate was changed for the first time since a 15-basis point cut in February 2015. That reduction was reversed today, but officials characterize the new stance as still accommodative. The rate is only 0.25% and was 3.25% at the end of 2010. In justifying today’s 15-basis point rate hike, […] More

South African Reserve Bank Tightens

November 22, 2018

The South African Reserve Bank surprised markets with an unexpected 25-basis  point increase of the repo rate to 6.75% after their sixth and final planned policy review of 2018. This was the first rate change since a cut of 25 basis points last March. Officials want to head of rising inflation expectations amid inflation stubbornly […] More

Bank of Mexico Tightens to Contain Inflation

November 16, 2018

The Bank of Mexico raised the overnight interbank rate by another 25 basis points, citing significant peso depreciation since the last policy review, concerns regarding the incoming administration’s policy intentions, above target inflation, indications of higher expected inflation, recent downgrades by some ratings agencies of Mexico’s debt rating outlook, and likely future increases in global […] More

A Fifth Straight Filipino Central Bank Interest Rate Hike

November 15, 2018

A desire to counter perceived upside inflation risks such as the rice tariffication bill, the suspension of the oil excise tax, wage pressures, and elevated inflation expectations justified a further hike of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ overnight reverse repo rate to 4.75% from 4.5%, according to a released central bank statement. Officials also felt obliged to […] More

Bank Indonesia Tightens Stance Further

November 15, 2018

The Indonesian central bank board of governors announced several changes: The 7-day reverse repo rate, deposit facility rate, and lending facility rate were hiked 25 basis points to 6.0%, 5.25%, and 6.75%. The key reverse repo rate has been lifted 7 times since mid-May for a total of 2 percentage points. Reserve requirements were also […] More

FOMC Keeps 2-2.25% Federal Funds Target Range as Expected

November 8, 2018

With no press conference planned, the Federal Open Market released a statement at 14:00 EST (15:00 GMT) that is very similar to the previous meeting’s one, when policy was tightened. As expected this time the fed funds target was left unchanged, but no doubt was left about more rate normalization as officials reiterated the clause “in […] More

FOMC Preview

November 8, 2018

FOMC policy has become an epitome of predictability in rate-rising cycles. For decades, the Fed didn’t even announce policy changes, and it could take some time to discern that one had occurred by watching open market operations and determining behavior that couldn’t be explained by seasonal and other special factors. Policymakers have come to believe […] More

Iceland’s Central Bank Tightens and Suggest More Restraint May Follow

November 7, 2018

A 25 basis point increase of the Bank of Iceland’s 7-day term rate to 4.50% was the first tightening since November 2015. In between, the benchmark had been reduced by 50 basis points in August 2016 and 25 basis point each in May 2017, June 2017, and October 2017. Today’s rate reversal comes in response […] More

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