FOMC Cuts by 50-bp, Signals Further EasingThe Federal Reserve cut its benchmark lending rate by 50-basis points to 1% by unanimous vote and also lowered its discount rate by 50-basis points to 1.25%. The currency markets were heavily pricing in the aggressive move with the greenback tumbling against the euro and sterling heading into the decision. The dollar fell by over 700-pips versus the pound from 1.5765 to 1.6473 while dropping from 1.2583 to 1.2990 against the euro.
In the accompanying FOMC policy statement, the Fed delivered a somber assessment of the economy saying “the pace of economic activity appears to have slowed markedly, owing importantly to a decline in consumer expenditures”. The statement also paved the way for additional policy easing at the next meeting in December, revealing expectations for inflation to continue to moderate over the coming quarters. The Fed said “the intensification of financial market turmoil is likely to exert additional restraint on spending, partly by further reducing the ability of households and businesses to obtain credit”. Accordingly, we look for the FOMC to slash rates again in December with a 25-basis point cut bring the year-end benchmark lending rate to 0.75%.
The economic reports released earlier in the session saw headline durable goods orders for September rise by 0.8% reversing from a steep 4.8% decline a month earlier. The excluding transportations figure improved to -1.1% from -3.3% previously. Several key reports are slated for release in the Thursday session, with weekly jobless claims, Q3 advanced GDP, and Q3 core PCE. Weekly jobless claims are seen largely unchanged at 475k, from 478k a week earlier. The advanced Q3 GDP reading is estimated to post a 0.5% decline compared with a 2.8 gain previously.