Global equity markets on both sides of the Atlantic saw tentative trading ahead of this evening's release of April’s FOMC meeting minutes as investors weighed up the prospects of further delays in path to rising interest rates. Further uncertainty was seen among investors after Chicago Fed President Charles Evans commented that a rise in US interest rates would not likely be appropriate this year, with conditions favouring a rates rise forecast to improve in early 2016. Mr Evans has long been an advocate of delaying a rate hike to ensure the recovering US economy isn’t undermined. With the US economy already dealing with low inflation policymakers may opt to wait until they are confident that the 2% target can be reached, accordingly investors will be keeping a close eye on any changing of wording in today’s FOMC meeting minutes release.
The Bank of England unveiled in its May 7-8 meeting minutes that MPC members voted unanimously against an interest rates increase, a 9-0 move to keep rates unchanged at 0.5%. Details from the minutes highlighted once more that the housing market could face “upside risks” throughout the second half of the year as the recent pickup in housing prices presented fresh risks to the UK economy. The committee once again emphasised that the effects of lower oil and commodity prices would unlikely translate into persistently lower inflation and expected prices to pick up, particularly towards the end of 2015.