US rate rise coming, be ready: RBA

The Reserve Bank of Australia in Sydney, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. The Reserve Bank has announced it will keep interest rates on hold at an historic low of 2 per cent. The Australian bond market has been weighed down by a spike in oil prices, nervousness about China's pace of growth and fears of a September US rate rise. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING

Jason Cadden


(Australian Associated Press)

A Reserve Bank official has warned that a US interest rate rise is definitely coming and no one should be surprised.

“This is the most well telegraphed rate rise in the history of rate hikes,” RBA assistant governor for financial markets Guy Debelle said on Wednesday.

“If you’re not ready for it, you sure as hell have been warned.”

The futures market has priced in a one-in-three chance the Federal Reserve will announce a rate rise after this week’s two-day meeting and one is fully priced in for some time by next January.

The Fed’s September policy meeting finishes early on Friday morning, Sydney time.

Dr Debelle expects some fluctuations in global financial markets when the Fed does lift the rate, but it should be contained.

“My guess is that I would be surprised if there wasn’t a bit of volatility when they raise rates,” he told the Actuaries Institute Banking on Change Seminar in Sydney.

“Every time we’ve had a rise in US interest rates in the past, things tend to happen after that.”

However, it’s been so long since the last US rate rise that some market players won’t have the experience or know how to deal with it, Dr Debelle said.

“There’s a decent chunk of people in the market that have never experienced an environment where rates actually go up and most of them have never experienced an environment where rates actually change,” he said.

US bond yields on Tuesday night pushed to their highest level in more than four years, a sign more traders are betting on a US rate rise this week.

However, recent speeches by members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) show that this week’s rate decision could be a close one.

“There hasn’t been this much debate, uncertainty and division for a FOMC meeting in years,” BK Asset Management managing director Kathy Lien said.


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