Market Analysis

Jackson Hole Looms

The annual Kansas City Fed Economic Policy Symposium opens tonight in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and runs through until Saturday. With so many of the world’s central bank chiefs and other policymakers in attendance there’s always a lot of event risk around this gathering. The Kansas City Fed, as is usual in this case, doesn’t publish the full agenda and the list of speakers until very close to the opening of the event. Traders should be aware that for this Symposium, the Kansas City Fed will release the full agenda and speaker-list at 2000h New York time tonight (equivalent to 0100h UK time on Friday August 24). What is already known is that Fed Chief Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak at 1000h New York time (1500h UK time) on Friday and the topic is said to be ‘Monetary Policy in a Changing Economy.’ Such a title might suggest to traders that the Fed Chief could focus on how the US central bank will approach its policy framework over the longer term, possibly addressing how much more balance sheet reduction the Fed envisages is required given its current outlook for the US economy. But it’s also important to note that while this event is Fed-hosted, it’s a global symposium. Traders may recall that in recent symposia at Jackson Hole, non-US policymakers, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda to name but one, have taken the opportunity to make comments that have then resulted in material moves on the currency markets. Traders might wish to check out that Kansas City-published list of events and speakers. Jackson Hole represents real but unknown event risks.

by Neal Kimberley, External Currency Analyst.