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Euro-Dollar Rate: Trading the Federal Reserve

Federal Reserve pricing chart TD Securities

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  • EUR/USD reference rates at publication:
  • Spot: 1.1732
  • Bank transfers (indicative guide): 1.1320-1.1400
  • Money transfer specialist rates (indicative): 1.1630-1.1670
  • More information on securing specialist rates, here
  • Set up an exchange rate alert, here

The next major test for the U.S. Dollar will be Wednesday night's update from the Federal Reserve (Fed).

The Fed is expected to offer its updated views on the recent slowdown in U.S. economic activity while detailing plans to end its quantitative easing programme.

Current expectations are for the programme to be tapered starting in either November or December.

But the real market moving event will be updates to the Fed's interest rate forecasts, communicated via a chart plotting the future interest rate forecasts of individual members of the FOMC.

Should these dots imply a rate rise could occur as early as 2022 the Dollar could appreciate in value, pushing the Euro-to-Dollar exchange rate back towards the 2021 low at 1.1664.

Analysis from TD Securities details such a 'hawkish' outcome as being one where the median dot shows rate hikes starting in 2022 with as much as 150bp of tightening by end-2024.

Significant upward revisions to 2022 as well as 2021 inflation projections would also be delivered under such a scenario.

The Euro-Dollar exchange rate could fall to 1.1660 says TD Securities who see a 25% possibility of such an outcome.

Fed rate hike pricing TD Securities

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Under their base case scenario (60% chance) the median dot indicates that no tightening would occur in 2022 (as before), ahead of a 50bp rise in 2023 (as before) and a 50bp rise in 2024.

There would be no definitive signal on taper timing, but the economy is judged to be close to achieving the required "substantial further progress," required to start the withdrawal of monetary support, even with some cooling in growth recently.

The Euro-Dollar is seen at 1.1750 in response to such an outcome.

Strategists say a 'dovish' outcome - that results in Dollar weakness - would see the Fed say the economy is closer to achieving "substantial further progress," but no definitive new signal on tapering is offered.

But a new text could potentially be offered that details the criteria for interest rate "liftoff" as being much stricter than the criteria for tapering.

This would build on the theme introduced by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell in his speech to the Jackson Hole Symposium where he said interest rate rises would not necessarily occur soon after quantitative easing is ended.

Under a 'dovish' scenario - which is given a 15% chance by TD Securities - economic growth projections for 2021 are cut "significantly" while inflation projections are raised "significantly".

But there would be virtually no changes to 2022/23 projections.

No change to the mean as well as median dot plot projections for 2022 and 2023 would emerge, while the median dot would show a 50bp hike for 2024.

The Euro-Dollar is forecast to trade back up towards 1.1800 under such an outcome.