Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Monday that interest rate hikes are likely on the way because positive economic forces have outweighed the negative for the United States now that risks from earlier this year have diminished.
In the last public comment from any U.S. central banker before a key policy meeting next week, the Fed chief said last month’s jobs report was disappointing and bears watching, though she warned against attaching too much significance to it on its own. In her address, Yellen was careful not to give timelines on raising interest rates, in contrast to a speech on May 27, when she said probably in coming months such a move would be appropriate.
While on Monday Yellen stressed that surprises could emerge that could change her expectations, the speech was broadly buoyant, with Yellen listing four main risks to the U.S. economy - slower demand and productivity, and inflation and overseas risks - before downplaying them all.
Her speech sent the USD lower and stocks higher and her tone supports the risk-on mode. However, with a lot of uncertainty ahead the music may stop in a moment.
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