Fed Up Of Rate Hike Timing? Stay Invested In REIT-Focused Funds

Comments from key Federal Reserve officials and improving economic data have added fuel to rate hike hopes. In September, hopes of a lift-off had fizzled out as the date for the FOMC meeting approached. However this time, factors that will help in deciding on the rate hike have growing in numbers. Moreover, market volatility is now at a level that should help the cause against the high levels seen in September.

Investors may be ‘fed up’ of Fed’s actions or inactions and the effects of both is a story that has been done to death. But we have to remind investors about funds that would be the best buys before ‘Fed ups’ the rate for the first time in a decade, even at the cost of repeating ourselves.

Fed Comments

Several Fed officials pointed toward a series of rate hikes at a moderate pace. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart stated that he was “comfortable” with a rate hike “soon.” Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said the central bank had not firmed up on a December rate increase. However, Mester added that: “Things are on track.”

Fed vice chairman Stanley Fischer mentioned that “some major central banks" could quit the near-zero interest rate policy “in the relatively near future.” New York Fed president William Dudley and St. Louis Fed president James Bullard also made similar comments.

According to a Dow Jones report, William Dudley said on Friday that the central bank may approach the goals needed to hike rates, but it still has time to decide on whether or not it will hike rates in December. The timing is data-dependent and Dudley expects to see indications of increasing inflation soon enough. He mentioned that the US economy is in “good shape”, helping the Fed meet the criteria for rate hike in the near future.

Separately, James Bullard reportedly said that the central bank may move back to an era of uncertain rate hikes based on meeting-by-meeting basis after the first rate hike.

FOMC Minutes

Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) meeting in October stated that most officials anticipated that conditions to lift short-term interest rates “could well be met by the time of the next meeting” in December. The Fed is waiting for further improvements in labor market conditions and inflation to touch its target rate of 2% before hiking rates.

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