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Yelling for Yellen

| Posted by: Paul Donovan | Tags: Paul Donovan

  • Investors await the speech of Fed Chair Yellen with the ill-concealed hysteria of tweens at a pop concert. We have been bombarded with Fed comments this week, which have tended to use language identical to language used in the recent Fed minutes – but investors have still shifted their opinion to expect a March rate increase.
  • Yellen's remarks matter because the Chair has a natural claque of support on the FOMC, because these are the last comments before the blackout, and because the Fed does not like to surprise markets as a rule. This is the opportunity to guide expectations if investors' expectations are wrong.
  • In France, Republican politicians have been withdrawing support from their presidential candidate Fillon. Investors may start to react when opinion polls offer "evidence" for the impact of this on relative support levels. Le Pen declared it was a question of when and how France leaves the euro.
  • US Attorney General Session's decision to recuse himself following revelations of talks with Russian officials has little direct consequence for markets. However, if this is part of a deterioration of relations between White House and Republicans in Congress, it matters (impacting how much of US President Trump's agenda is viable).