Sumary of Asian markets mixed as data points to faster Fed taper:
- The readings came as minutes from the Fed’s November policy meeting showed officials were moving towards tapering their vast bond-buying programme — known as quantitative easing — at a faster pace as they try to tame rocketing prices.
- While officials agreed to lower the number of bonds bought each month from the start of November, the minutes said that “some participants preferred a somewhat faster pace of reductions that would result in an earlier conclusion to net purchases”.
- They added that the policy board would be prepared to “raise the target range for the federal funds rate sooner than participants currently anticipated if inflation continued to run higher than levels consistent with the Committee’s objectives”.
- Meanwhile, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly — usually seen as a policy dove — is also coming around to the idea of a speedier withdrawal of stimulus.
- The latest strong US data do not “speak to an economy in need of the type of support the Fed is currently giving it and add weight to the concerns the Fed is behind the curve when it comes to monetary policy”, said Michael Hewson of CMC Markets.