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What to expect from the Fed?

The US Federal Reserve will announce the results of its March policy decision on Wednesday at 18:00 GMT. The new Fed's chief Janet Yellen will start her first press-conference at 18:30 GMT.

According to the market consensus, the FOMC decision will include another $10 billion cutback in the pace of asset purchases, slowing QE3 to $55 billion per month. Fed's qualitative "forward guidance" (6.5% unemployment and 2.5% inflation thresholds) is likely to be replaced with a more qualitative guidance. The new guidance is expected to underline that rates will remain unchanged well beyond the end of the QE program ("low for longer" fed funds rates). Markets will of course react to  any changes to the Fed projections for growth, unemployment and interest rates. 

BNP Paribas: We anticipate relatively neutral market impact on USD from the meeting. As long as Chairman Yellen largely attributes weak US activity to the weather, USD should stay resilient. 

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