Will the United States hike interest rates in 2015 or not? Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says they are on track to go up, but as Kirsty Basset reports, not everyone agrees.
A cough and a splutter from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. She was apparently dehydrated after a long speech, and seen by medical staff as a precaution, after saying rates were on track to go up this year for the first time in almost a decade. But analysts say there are no guarantees, with lingering concerns about the health of the global economy. CCLA's James Bevan. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER AT CCLA, JAMES BEVAN SAYING: "I was very surprised that Mrs Yellen decided last night to indicate that a rate hike by the end of the year was on the cards as this is somewhat inconsistent with the statement made at the time of the FOMC that the Fed would want to monitor external developments. It is simply not credible that we will have adequate positive news on the global economy to allow the Fed to follow through on that promise." Yellen's speech sent the dollar to a five week high while gold fell from one month highs. Meanwhile European equities ended the week with a 3 per cent surge, in contrast to Asian markets which finished in the red. France's CAC rose 2.6 per cent after data showed French consumer confidence at its highest level since October 2007, despite concerns about structural challenges. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER AT CCLA, JAMES BEVAN SAYING: "At the moment the French economy does not have adequate flexibility to allow it to address its long term pension challenges." Adding to a somewhat gloomy outlook for the global economy - after a survey showed earlier this week that Chinese manufacturing shrank at its fastest rate in more than 6 years in September.