The minutes of the Fed’s July meeting highlighted the intense debate among members about weaker inflation and the timing of asset reduction.
The minutes clearly showed a divide in the committee, calling into question its ability to raise rates more rapidly (with some calling for a halt), but in other aspects, a consensus on asset reduction agenda at the next meeting.
The minutes noted that: “Although several participants were prepared to announce a starting date for the program at the current meeting, most preferred to defer that decision until an upcoming meeting while accumulating additional information on the economic outlook and developments potentially affecting financial markets.”
The next Fed meeting is due September 25-26, with fixed income markets pricing in only a 5.6% chance of a hike in the meetings. Treasury yields ended slightly softer on the day, with the 10-year bond yielding 2.225%.
In other markets, the S&P 500 Index finished up 0.1% at 2,468.11. The index eased from its session high of 2474.93, which is a key technical level where most business has been happening for most of the past few sessions.
The US dollar weakened after the minutes, with EUR/USD gaining 0.3% to 1.177 and the DXY slipping 0.38% to 93.5170. Oil (WTI crude) fell 1.7% to $46.75 a barrel.