Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is set to deliver remarks at his semiannual testimony at Congress, with his trip to Capitol Hill kicking off with members of the House of Representatives at 10:00 EDT/14:00 GMT. As per the participants’ request, the Fed chairman’s prepared remarks were released at 08:30 EDT/12:30 GMT; and the US Dollar has taken a small hit following their release.
The overall tone of Chairman Bernanke’s testimony the next two days will be that “monetary policy isn’t on a preset course,” but for the fact that highly accommodative policy is likely in the “foreseeable future.”
Speaking on the issue of the QE3 taper, Chairman Bernanke noted that, while the Fed may taper QE3 in 2013 and halt it around mid-2014, it will nevertheless retain its Treasury and MBS portfolios after nonstandard bond purchases cease.
On the economy, Chairman Bernanke took a dovish tone, diminishing recent progress made on both of the Fed’s mandates, price stability and fostering employment. Very low inflation “risks deflation,” and given the fact that longer-term inflation expectations are “stable,” the Fed chief echoed sentiment from the May FOMC meeting Minutes – that the Fed would act (‘increase QE’) if needed to achieve the +2% yearly inflation target.
Similarly, Chairman Bernanke only described the labor market situation as “improving gradually” as it remains “far from satisfactory.”
USDJPY 1-minute Chart: July 17, 2013
Charts Created using Marketscope – prepared by Christopher Vecchio
Following the remarks’ release, the US Dollar slid against each of the components of the Dow Jones FXCM Dollar Index (Ticker: USDOLLAR), at the time this report was written: the AUDUSD rallied from $0.9197 to as high as 0.9275; the EURUSD rallied from $1.3129 to as high as 1.3177; the GBPUSD rallied from $1.5193 to as high as 1.5266; and the USDJPY dropped from ¥96.76 to as low as 99.20.
— Written by Christopher Vecchio, Currency Analyst