Markets Patient Awaiting January Fed Minutes

“Patience” has been a constant buzzword in Federal Reserve lexicon as of late and on Wednesday, the central bank will release the minutes from the Jan. 29-30 meeting in which they elected to keep the federal funds rate unchanged.

Investors and traders alike will no doubt dissect the Fed minutes to extrapolate their own interpretations from it. Nonetheless, the word “patience” will once again come under the proverbial microscope.

“I really want them to define patience a little more systematically,” said Derek Tang, an analyst at Monetary Policy Analytics in Washington. “Some color there would be helpful.’’

Last month, the Fed voted unanimously to hold its policy rate in a range between 2.25 percent and 2.5 percent. The markets cheered the move as the Dow Jones Industrial gained as many as 400 points following the news to keep rates static.

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A More Flexible Fed?

A separate statement last month alluded to a more flexible Fed that would be more strategic with regard to its balance sheet policy. Furthermore, flexibility would also apply to its holdings of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, which signaled a diversion from statements that the central bank would resume its asset purchases if economic data warranted a rate cut.