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Yellen Rattles Markets With First Press Conference
Posted March 20th, 2014

Los Angeles CA, Mar 20 (Tangible Investments) - by James O’Dell - The Gold price retreated sharply to three week lows on Wednesday, easing $28.96 or 2.14 percent to close at $1,327.14 an ounce, after the dollar was boosted and the Dow plunged triple digits, when the Fed announced at the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMCs) two day policy meeting, that the central bank could unwind its quantitative easing (QE) program as early as this fall. Silver followed gold lower, easing $0.27 or 1.29 percent to close at $20.58 an ounce.
 
Fed Chair Janet Yellen rattled markets at her first post-meeting news conference when she announced that the central bank could begin raising interest rates as soon as six months after the unwinding of its massive QE program. The unease in markets "might be a sign that people think Yellen will tighten sooner rather than later, or that inflation could come into the market if the Fed keeps rates low well past 6.5 percent (unemployment)," said Rockwell Securities' Wayne Kaufman.
 
Yellen unveiled a much more rapid path to higher rates than analysts or investors had been expecting, with markets now pricing in the Fed's first rate hike as early as April 2015. FOMC participants suggested that the Fed funds rate could be as high as one percent by the end of 2015, a full 25 basis points higher than their December prediction. While it's unlikely that a rate hike will occur this year, the market interprets this development as extremely hawkish.
 
"She certainly moved (the timetable) up a little bit and I don't think the market was expecting that at all because she is widely viewed as being more on the dovish side of the aisle than she is on the hawkish side," said Peter Kenny, of Clearpool Group. Meanwhile, with rumors of another Chinese corporation defaulting on its bond payments, and the Crimean peninsula crisis still simmering, look for gold to resume its climb.
 
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