Goldman Sachs Says Markets Ready for December Fed Rate Liftoff

  • Rate rise would help 'regain control of money market rates'
  • Fed could help to stabilize markets when rate moves begin

After the Federal Reserve’s decision to hold interest rates did little to quell volatility last month, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says markets are now ready for a 2015 hike.

The Fed can be expected to act to stabilize financial markets, said Francesco Garzarelli, co-head of macro markets and market research at Goldman Sachs in London. The central bank’s September decision confused investors and stoked concern about global growth prospects amid a slowdown in China, helping erase almost $11 trillion from the value of shares worldwide in the third quarter.

“The market, by and large, is ready,” Garzarelli said in an interview with Karen Moskow and Bob Moon on Bloomberg Radio. “The probability that you see in December is not 100 percent, but rationally that reflects the fact that we have a few months to go and the payrolls could break either way.”

Economists forecast a Labor Department release tomorrow will show a 200,000 increase in September payrolls, a faster pace than a month earlier. Data today may show manufacturing expanded at a slower pace in the world’s biggest economy.

Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein said on Sept. 16 that U.S. economic data did not support the case for higher borrowing costs. Traders are now pricing in a 43 percent probability of a rate increase in December, and almost even odds of a rise in January.

The MSCI All-Country World Index climbed 1.6 percent at 1:32 p.m. in London, after completing its worst quarter in four years. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, a gauge of turbulence in U.S. stocks, has closed above 20 for the past 28 sessions, the longest streak since January 2012.

“It’s been very choppy,” said Garzarelli. “We think the decision will be presented with a lot of talk around the fact that this is mostly, at this stage, about regaining control of the money market rates.”