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With the Delta variant surging its head in the US, today’s Fed meet, as such was expected to be a status quo. The resurgence comes on the back of the economy slowly getting back on its feet though rising inflation suggests otherwise.

Yet, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) did what is needed and not necessarily economically right by holding on to the interest rates near zero and repeating its vow to keep buying bonds at the current $120 billion monthly pace. The Fed can do nothing but remain patient at this juncture.

The Fed made little changes to the statement, although policymakers noted that "the economy has made progress toward these goals, and the Committee will continue to assess progress in coming meetings."

Apart from the Delta variant, another reason why the Fed sat pat on the rates and kept a mum on the tapering schedule was the falling yield on the 10-year Treasury note since the Fed last met in mid-June. The worry is that tighter monetary policy in the short to medium term could curtail longer-term economic growth – markets are more worried about growth than inflation.

On the tapering schedule, it was expected widely that Fed might release its formal exit plans but there wasn’t much on that front too. There was just a faint hint; the Fed in the statement said, “Last December, the Committee indicated that it would continue to increase its holdings of Treasury securities by at least $80 billion per month and of agency mortgage?backed securities by at least $40 billion per month until substantial further progress has been made toward its maximum employment and price stability goals. Since then, the economy has made progress toward these goals, and the Committee will continue to assess progress in coming meetings.”

Analysts tracking this US economy say that one should expect even a hint of tapering only in August or September, when the FOMC will release quarterly forecasts, with actual implementation in early 2022.

Well, in India, it will back to business as usual with no major reasons for either a jump up or a fall down; it is expected to perform more or less the way it has for the last couple of days – listless. For us, 5th August will be “the” event to watch for as it’s the RBI meet’s date though here too, it will be a status quo.

Till then all eyes will be on the earnings and pertinent among them today would be JK Lakshmi Cement, LIC Housing Finance, Oberoi Realty, Tech Mahindra, Punjab & Sind Bank, Mahindra Holiday, GHCL, Shree Digvijay Cement, TVS Motor, Union Bank, Colgate, CCL, Concor, GE Shipping, Indus Towers among many more.

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