Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is giving her economic outlook at the Executives Club of Chicago on Friday in what is scheduled to be her last public remarks ahead of the central bank's March 14-15 meeting.
Traders will be keeping their ears open for clues about the possibility of a rate hike at the conclusion of the Fed's upcoming meeting.
Until recently, markets viewed the possibility of a March rate hike as a low-probability event. The consensus priced in about a 34% chance as late as February 23, according to the World Interest Rate Probability data provided by Bloomberg.
However, Fed officials have adopted a more hawkish rhetoric in recent days, including New York Fed President William Dudley who told CNN in an interview on Tuesday that "the case for monetary-policy tightening has become a lot more compelling,"
And now, as of Friday afternoon ET, traders see a 92% chance the Fed hikes by 25 basis points at the March meeting, according to the World Interest Rate Probability data.
"An important part of the shift in the rhetoric of Fed officials is that the rate hike is not tied to any specific trigger, such as stronger data or more improvement in the labor market," Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, wrote on Friday. "The general economic conditions and proximity to the full employment and price stability goals are sufficient, and officials are simply looking for appropriate opportunities." [Read more... http://snip.ly/4i9t0 ]