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November Jobs Report Due Friday as the Fed's Powell Confirms Slower Pace of Rate Hikes


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Speaking Wednesday at a Brookings Institution event, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell more or less confirmed what has been suggested for weeks – that this month the central bank was going to ratchet back the pace of interest rate hikes from 75 basis points to 50 basis points.

Equity markets soared on the news, led by the Nasdaq’s 4.5% advance. Bitcoin (BTC) rallied as well, briefly topping $17,000 from the mid-$16,000 area (it’s trading at $16,900 at press time). The rallies were somewhat surprising as bets on a smaller-than-usual rate hike in December barely changed after Powell’s comments on Wednesday.

According to the CME’s FedWatch Tool, after Powell's address market participants saw a 77% chance of a 50-basis point move coming out of the Federal Open Market Committee's mid-December meeting, up a hair from 76% prior to the Fed chair’s speech.


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