Given our expectations that the Federal Reserve Board is going to keep a low profile in 2020, promising no rate changes—probably—I will have to fill up these pages with something, won’t I?
Luckily with the rest of the developed world still looking to monetary easing to help revive their—for the most part—moribund economies—there promises to be plenty of monetary policy to chew on for investors in 2020.
Indeed, China opened up the year with a surprise bang by delivering another round of stimulus. Prior to the news Thursday of the killing of Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani, world stocks got a boost when the People’s Bank of China said last Monday that it would further loosen monetary policy by reducing the amount of reserves banks needs to keep on hold at the central bank. That essentially allows banks more capital for lending and investment.
In particular, the People’s Bank of China said it was lowering the seven-day reverse repurchase rate to 2.50% from 2.55%, the first cut in more than four years. This move comes just two weeks after the PBOC cut the borrowing cost on its medium-term lending facility. It appears to be a signal to markets that policymakers are ready to act to prop up slowing growth.Both reductions suggest the Chinese central...