Alice N. Sanders
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Alice N. Sanders in US Markets,

Is Janet Yellen still calling the tune in financial markets?

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Are traders listening to Yellen or Draghi?

What if Janet Yellen testified and nobody listened? That won’t be the case when the Federal Reserve chairwoman delivers semiannual testimony to lawmakers this week, but investors might wonder whether major foreign central banks, which mostly appear to be at least laying the groundwork for tighter monetary policy of their own, are now calling the tune. “The market seems bored with the Fed and, instead, it is the looming turnaround in monetary policy elsewhere that’s driving currencies — and pushing the dollar down,” said Steven Barrow, London-based currency and fixed-income analyst at Standard Bank, in a note. In fact, the Bank of Canada may be the first major central bank to join the Fed in a tightening mode when its policy makers meet Wednesday. Investors have largely penciled in a quarter-point rate rise. And investors seem to be incorporating the notion that the next move by other global central banks, including the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and Sweden’s Riksbank, will be toward tighter policy. Global government bond yields remain low by any measure but have risen significantly over the past two weeks, a move widely attributed to remarks from ECB President Mario Draghi that were viewed as relatively hawkish despite apparent behind-the-scenes efforts by ECB officials to blunt the subsequent market reaction.

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