August 24, 2021

Coronavirus is causing problems for the Fed and the dollar

 The US currency was under market pressure on the first trading day of the week. But the US stock indexes S&P 500, NASDAQ, and Dow Jones have been growing for three consecutive days, and yesterday they again updated their absolute highs. Thus, what is happening now in the markets is exactly what we have already talked about more than once. The US stock market can continue to grow calmly, as the Fed continues to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into the American economy, some of which moves to the stock market. The foreign exchange market has been reacting in recent weeks to the possible end of the QE program in the near future. However, last Friday, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Robert Kaplan, said that he could change his mind about the early curtailment of the quantitative stimulus program if the situation with the spread of the coronavirus and its delta strain continues to worsen. It can be recalled that over the past week, more than 1 million cases of the disease were recorded in the United States. And this is despite the fact that the rate of vaccination in the United States is very high. However, as many epidemiologists say, vaccines cannot permanently protect a person from the coronavirus disease. The country's chief epidemiologist, Anthony Fauci, is already talking about a third, "booster" vaccination, and many studies show that the effect of the vaccine weakens after about a year. Thus, vaccines protect humanity to a greater extent from the complications caused by the coronavirus, but not from the infection itself.

Consequently, the situation with the pandemic in the United States may worsen, which, of course, will affect the pace of economic recovery. As we found out yesterday, business activity in the United States is declining in all areas. So far, this decline is not strong, but nevertheless it has been going on for several months in a row. The GDP report for the second quarter showed that its growth rate is much more modest than the markets expected. Therefore, not everything is good here. And in such circumstances, the Fed may indeed postpone the curtailment of the QE program. However, both Jerome Powell and other Fed representatives have repeatedly stated that the regulator should be flexible in changing the parameters of monetary policy. Therefore, most likely, the Fed will act according to the situation. And the rhetoric of Jerome Powell will also correspond to the current state of affairs. Simply put, we do not expect the head of the Federal Reserve to make important statements about the QE program and monetary policy at the Jackson Hole symposium this Friday. Most likely, the Fed will continue to monitor the state of macroeconomic indicators, and will announce a decision on QE for the coming months after the September meeting.