Central Banks

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The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates a quarter percent as expected after a two day meeting on Wednesday for the first time with Jerome Powell as Chairman. Markets had priced in a 90% chance of 25 bp hike.

Zhou Xiaochuan after 15 years as head of the People’s Bank of China is retiring with his protégé Yi Gang taking over. Yi  is a technocrat with over 20 years  experience at the PBoC.

Haruhiko Kuroda was reappointed for another five years as Governor of the Bank of Japan Friday in Japan's National Diet lower house. Koroda is a sprightly 73 and been in the job since 2013. The move was expected and contunes more of the same for Japan.

In what appears as a mirror image of ECB chair Draghi's comments last week a dovish  Bank of Canada head Poloz said that Canada maybe able to handle more growth without inflation.

The Bank of Canada holds its key lending rate at 1.25 percent on Wednesday.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's testimony on the central bank's semi-annual report on monetary policy and the economy has been brought up a day to Tuesday, Feb. 27 before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee, no reason has been given. 

The Bank of England voted unanimously to maintain Bank Rate at 0.50%. The committee also voted unanimously to maintain the stock of corporate bond purchases and UK government bond purchases.

Reserve Bank of Australia leaves the cash rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent.

No surprises from the Federal Reserve Wednesday the FOMC Left Interest Rates Unchanged as expected in the 1.25% -1.50% range and announced the taper continuance. The Fed  began to unwind the $4.5 trillion balance sheet in October. 

The Federal Reserve meets on Wednesday for the last time with Janet Yellen as chair before Jerome Powell takes charge, Markets have priced in negligible odds of rate hike next week. The Fed appears irrelevant in the current stock mania.

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