Overseas Headlines: March 19, 2021

United States:

Jerome Powell’s Fed Wants the Bond Market to Hear Three Messages

“Jerome Powell has a goal that is bigger than the bond market’s near term inflation concern. In perhaps his most forthright press conference since taking the helm of the central bank three years ago, the Federal Reserve chair this week laid out three critical messages for investors who have been propelling bond yields higher on the bet inflation would eventually force his Fed to tighten monetary policy faster than it’s been indicating.”



Russia Surprises With First Rate Hike in Two Years, Signals More

“The Bank of Russia unexpectedly increased interest rates for the first time since 2018 and warned of further hikes after inflation accelerated faster than expected. The benchmark rate was raised 25 basis points to 4.5% on Friday. Just three analysts in a Bloomberg survey of 41 economists forecast the move, with the rest expecting no change. The ruble climbed and 10-year bond yields rose to their highest level in a year.”



BOJ Carves Out More Flexibility for Longer Inflation Fight

“The Bank of Japan unveiled a set of carefully crafted policy tweaks aimed at giving itself more flexibility to keep up its long quest to revive inflation. The bank set out a wider-than-previously-thought movement range for bond yields and scrapped a buying target for stock funds at the end of a three-month policy review.”




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