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Odds of additional Fed rate hikes in May, June rise after CPI report

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Odds that the Federal Reserve will delivery additional 25 basis point interest-rate hikes in May and June have risen following the release of the January consumer-price index on Tuesday, according to the CME’s FedWatch tool. Fed funds futures, a derivative product that traders use to place bets on fluctuations in the Fed’s policy rate, were pricing in 74.3% odds of a hike in May, a marginal increase from 72% a day earlier, according to the CME tool. Investors have been pricing in higher odds of additional Fed hikes following surprisingly strong readings on the state of the U.S. labor market and services sector earlier this month. The data have helped convince investors that the Fed would hike rates above 5% and keep them there until at least 2024. Fed officials, including Chairman Jerome Powell, have repeatedly advised that the central bank is committed to keeping rates higher for longer, but markets had been reluctant to take the Fed at its word prior to the release of the data earlier this month. Furthermore, Fed funds futures are pricing in higher probability of another hike in June, with odds rising to 48.2% after Tuesday morning’s data, up from 36.1% a week ago. The CPI data released Tuesday showed inflation continued to wane in January, but not as quickly as economists had expected.


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