1. Odds for Fed rate hike in June surge
Odds for a June rate hike by the Federal Reserve surged following the release of hawkish Fed minutes, which indicated that “most” of the central bank’s members are ready to raise rates if economic data points to stronger second-quarter growth as well as firming inflation and employment.
Fed funds futures were signaling a 34% chance of a June rate hike by Thursday morning, compared to 16% before the release of the hawkish Fed minutes Wednesday afternoon and up sharply from just 4% a week ago.
Market players will pay close attention to comments from a pair of key Fed officials later Thursday. Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer speaks at 13:15GMT, or 9:15AM ET, at an event at Columbia University, while New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley will hold a press briefing on the economy at 14:30GMT, or 10:30AM ET.
Besides the Fed speakers, traders will be watching closely when weekly jobless claims are released at 12:30GMT, or 8:30AM ET, after last week's surprising jump. The Philadelphia Fed survey is also released at 8:30AM.