Wall St The Week Ahead: All eyes on Fed minutes for rate hike info

WITH US stocks hitting record highs just before the Independence Day break last week on the back of strong jobs growth, the Bank for International Settlements – the global forum for central banks – said that markets were in a “euphoric” state and that keeping interest rates too low for too long could sow the seeds of another crisis.

The Federal Reserve is winding up its money-printing programme but seems comfortable leaving rates low until well into next year.

Data last week showed US employment growth jumped in June, evidence the economy was rebounding after a weather-related slump at the start of the year. The data slate is thin in the week to come but a number of Fed officials – covering the hawk-to-dove spectrum – are speaking and investors will be tuned in to see if a case is building for an earlier rate rise.

On the back of the US jobs report, JP Morgan brought forward its forecast for the first Fed rate rise to the third quarter of 2015, from Q4, and said a move in the second quarter was quite plausible.

Minutes of the Fed’s last policy meeting, at which it expressed confidence the US recovery was on track and hinted at a slightly more aggressive pace of interest rate increases starting next year, will be released on Wednesday.

Chinese and US officials will hold annual talks in Beijing on Wednesday and Thursday, with the US again calling on China to do more to allow the market to set the value of its yuan currency.