The Fed has held its key interest rate at a record low near zero for more than six years.
Lingering uncertainty about the situation in Greece may also lead to choppy trading, as Greek Parliament is scheduled to vote on the conditional bailout agreement that includes several tough austerity measures.
Yellen said the Fed’s monetary policy plans had not changed in recent weeks.
The dollar, which in March paused in its months-long march higher, could take fresh strength from a U.S. Congressional appearance by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen later in the session. The Fed chair offered a laundry list of ways in which the Fed releases information to the public and to Congress and repeated her assertion that the central bank needs no more oversight by Congress.
“Efforts to increase transparency, no matter how well intentioned, must avoid unintended consequences that could undermine the Federal Reserve’s ability to make policy in the long-run best interest of American families and businesses”, she said in her testimony.
Ms. Yellen is now answering questions from lawmakers after delivering her testimony to the House Financial Services Committee at 10 a.m. EDT. The Fed has refused to provide some information, citing an investigation by the Justice Department, a position Hensarling has described as “willful obstruction”. She nodded to the slack that remains in the job market and the weakness…
Yellen, clearly anticipating this line of criticism, countered in prepared remarks that the Fed is more transparent than ever. The owner of Pizza Hut and KFC reported its fourth straight quarter of falling sales, indicating it is still struggling to regain lost ground in China after a food scandal previous year. “But the legislation seems highly likely to be adopted, not least thanks to the support of the opposition New Democracy, To Potami and Socialist (PASOK) parties”, analysts at Daiwa Capital Markets said in a note. “Valuation pressures” are rising in commercial real estate, the Fed said in its Monetary Policy Report, and underwriting standards at banks and in commercial mortgage-backed securities markets had been loosening. He says the economy would be healthier if the Fed followed more predictable rules that govern how it manages interest rates.
“We want to see further improvements in the labor market and with inflation running as low as it is, we want to feel reasonably confident that inflation will move up” in the next two to three years, Yellen said in outlining the landscape that will determine the timing of the first rate increase.
“The stance of monetary policy will likely remain highly accommodative for quite some time after the first increase in the federal funds rate”.
Yellen once again dismissed the weakness in the economy during the first quarter.