Jerome Powell who is the President’s choice to become the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve today testified and faced questions from the Senate.
Mr Powell was grilled on the future policies that he may implement and if he would continue with the current Chairlady Janet Yellen policies. Powell suggested that he wouldn’t be following on with all her plans and that there could be some different stances taken.
Considering this is Donald Trump’s pick and the tax reforms are coming, it seems hard to imagine Powell isn’t on board. However, the Federal Reserve is expected to act completely independently from the Government with almost no dialogue between the Head of the FED and the President.
Stocks rose off the back of Powell’s comments as well as good data to start the week. There is expected to be positive consumer confidence which following on from Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending levels hitting record highs, could result in US Dollar gains in the next few weeks.
Sterling has started to struggle as Brexit appears to be going through a nervous patch at the moment and this coupled with US Dollar optimism has seen the GBP/USD exchange rate fall back into the low 1.32’s.
More Data This Week
Thursday will provide Personal Consumption Expenditure data which, as mentioned previously will show gains, with next month bringing even more once the sales from last weekend are counted.
On Friday there will be a release of the latest Prices Paid and Manufacturing PMI for November. These readings are both expected to show very similar readings to the previous month however any variation could create volatility. As the week comes to the end we could see further losses for Sterling against the US Dollar. If Sterling continues to suffer from Brexit concerns with the US Dollar looking set to benefit from good data and an interest rate hike within 2 weeks, the 1.30 level could be tested once again.