Fed and ECB in focus: Could there be surprises? Keep an eye on the betting pools

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Fed and ECB in focus: Could there be surprises? Keep an eye on the betting pools
Credit: © Reuters.

By Laura Sánchez

Investing.com - Markets are mixed this Friday - IBEX 35 , CAC 40 , DAX - with investors keeping an eye on next week when the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) and the European Central Bank (ECB) both publish their interest rate decisions.

ECB: 50 or 75 bp hike?

Indeed, experts' predictions are already in place. "With price indicators slackening and the economy holding up better than expected, next week's central bank meetings point to an easing in the pace of rate hikes. Both the Fed and the ECB are likely to hike +50 basis points (bps) - vs. +75 bps previously. Pending these meetings, there will be no interventions by central bankers during the session (blackout period), so bonds could be bought after yesterday's falls (rise in price, fall in IRR)," analysts at Bankinter explain.

Danske Bank also expects the ECB to raise rates by 50 bp and to continue raising them during the first quarter of next year. These experts expect the deposit rate to peak at 2.75%.

"At next week’s meeting, we expect the ECB to deliver a 50bp rate hike with a hawkish twist. Specifically, we expect the ECB to present key principles of the end to reinvestments under the APP process (in which reinvestments will almost come to a full stop) and an open-ended wording for more rate hikes to come. This will be a compromise, which we believe will be palatable to both hawks and doves," they note at Danske Bank, as reported by FXStreet.

FXStreet also echoes Rabobank's forecasts, which agree with Danske Bank and believe that the ECB is likely to raise rates by 50 bp in December, although they do not rule out the possibility of a 75 bp hike.

"Despite a first easing of headline inflation, core inflation is still high and will slow the convergence of inflation back to target. The new staff projections will include a 2025 forecast, but given recent forecast errors the ECB should err on the side of caution as long as upside inflation risks remain," explain Rabobank analysts, adding, "We maintain our forecast of a 3% terminal rate."

Another expert pointing to a more hawkish strategy from the ECB is Nordea, which is targeting a third consecutive 75bp hike.

"We think the ECB will postpone the decision on the starting date for reducing the huge bond holdings, or set the date for late Q2 or early Q3 2023, in a nod to the more dovish voices in the Governing Council," analysts at Nordea say.

Fed: Will it deliver on its dovish promise?

As for the Fed, these analysts expect a hawkish message regarding the policy stance in 2023. According to these experts, the recent easing of financial conditions is premature, and more rate hikes will be needed.

"US economy remains on a path of modest growth in Q4, and Fed needs to force a moderate recession next year to avoid prolonging inflation from here. Getting demand lower requires broad financial conditions to retighten again, which likely includes a combination of more rate hikes in Q1, still elevated longer real yields, and stronger USD," say analysts at Danske Bank.

Likewise, analysts at BofA concur: "We expect the Fed to raise its target range for the Federal funds rate by 50bp in December to 4.25-4.5%. Fed communications over the last few weeks have clearly telegraphed this move. The more important question is where the Fed goes next," they note in comments carried by Forexlive.

(Translated from Spanish)

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