Markets Wait On Fed For Interest Rate Rise

All eyes are on the US Federal Reserve as interest rates were left at a record low of 0.25% by the Bank of England in the face of better than expected economic data.

Markets are waiting with bated breath for the Fed to hike interest rates – which chair Janet Yellen has hinted will happen for some time.

But the will-she-won’t-she jitters have seen stock markets around the world fall in recent days.

The Fed rate fixing committee meets on September 21.

The meeting is the favourite date for financial experts as traditionally, the Fed does not tinker with interest rates around a Presidential election, which is due in November.

Last year, the rate was ratcheted up in December, but with the new president due to be sworn in January, many believe the Fed will act now or hold on until the New Year.

UK pegs rates again

In the UK, encouraging data from retailers and unemployment and a small boost in inflation led to the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee pegging the official interest rate.

The committee voted unanimously for no rate change and to keep the economic stimulus program on the table.

In a statement, the committee said that the British economy is unlikely to see much growth for the rest of the year.

The increase in the cost of living was 0.6% year on year to August.

The FTSE100 responded well, increasing by 0.17% to 6,685 points immediately after the announcement at midday.

The next result is an important figure as the figure is one of the three triggers for the State pension triple lock guarantee.

Triple lock figures awaited

The other variable is the average wage increase for the year, for which data is not yet available.

If both are below 2.5%, then the State Pension rises by a minimum 2.5%.

Assuming a rise of 2.5%, the full State Pension will increase by £3.91 a week from April 2017, giving a weekly payment of £160.56 or £8,349 a year.

Interest rates in the Eurozone remained unchanged at a rate setting meeting earlier in the month.

The European Central Bank voted to maintain the rate at zero.

Inflation in the Eurozone is running at an annual rate of 0.2%, while for the European Union, the rate is 0.3%.