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US rate hike: who'll follow the Fed?

Thursday, December 17, 2015 - 01:40

Hot on the heels of the Fed, Hong Kong's central bank has raised by 0.25%. Are others likely to follow too - or will many go the other way and ease monetary policy? David Pollard reports.

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The ECB money presses roll on. Its QE programme in top gear - in stark contrast to the US Fed - now bent, it seems, on a full, if 'gradual' hiking cycle. Hong Kong raised rates within hours of the US hike - but that's because it's pegged to the dollar. Taiwan went the other way - easing, again, whilst talking of growth concerns, globally. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT, DIRECTOR OF SOVEREIGN RISK, JAN RANDOLPH, SAYING: "We in Europe and in Japan are still pursuing quantitative easing measures. So in a sense we are on a later cycle .... So there will be that asymmetry if you like in monetary policy across the world still." Like most economists, Jan Randolph of IHS sees the Fed move as a milestone. A clear signal that recession is ending. But is it? Brazil was downgraded this week - a clear reminder of the problems of emerging markets. Now with an extra funding cost on US-denominated debt. Along with Turkey, Brazil could tighten to rein in strong inflation and bolster a weak currency. Despite its sliding rouble, Russia's been repeatedly easing. China too - bringing down its yuan - with the risks of competitive devaluations that that entails. BCG Partners Mike Ingram. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BGC PARTNERS, MARKET STRATEGIST, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "Where you see China engineering a further devaluation then I would imagine that Japan would be one of the first central banks to have to react to that. We know that the ECB is chomping at the bit to get the currency lower. The Bank of England's seen as wanting to follow in the Fed's footsteps as soon as it can. As for the Fed itself: analysts say it could follow with another hike of its own in the first-quarter of next year.

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US rate hike: who'll follow the Fed?

Thursday, December 17, 2015 - 01:40