Before the open: Markets await Fed decision on tapering

The Nikkei closed up as today's Federal Open Markets Committee keeps markets waiting this morning.

Fed officials have stressed that some form of tapering could happen by the end of the year if data from the third quarter supports it.

Market consensus seems to be in the region of $10bn to $15bn taper of treasury purchases, though some figures are lower.

A fall in the unemployment rate to 7.3 per cent has been the basis of consensus for a taper, with the fall in part satisfying requirements for easing monetary stimulus. But, the Fed might see it as being safer to wait until after the October debt ceiling debate.

The Bank of England minutes are due out this morning too, which may well, given recent data, see different views when it comes to the policy on forward guidance.

Key events:

  • UK Bank of England minutes released at 09.30.
  • Eurozone July construction output at 10.00.
  • US August building permits at 13.30. Expected to rise from 0.943m to 0.950m.
  • US August housing starts at 13.30. Expected to rise from 0.896m to 0.913m.
  • US Fed interest rate decision at 19.00. Expected to remain at 0.25 per cent.
  • US FOMC economic projections at 19.00.
  • US Fed pace of MBS purchase program Sept at 19.00. Expected to be unchanged.
  • US Fed pace of treasury purchase program Sept at 19.00.
  • US Fed monetary policy statement and press conference at 19.30.