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BNP Paribas note that “Fed Chair Powell’s Q&A following his testimony to the Senate Banking Committee had a significantly more hawkish flavour than his prepared remarks. His comments sounded like a capitulation on the inflation view, paving the way for an acceleration in the pace of tapering. While it is still possible that developments on the Omicron variant end up derailing the Fed’s plans, the burden of proof now appears inverted – unless Omicron proves to be a significant hindrance to activity, the Fed looks inclined to accelerate the pace of tapering. On this basis, we expect the Fed to announce at its December meeting that it will end net asset purchases in March. This does not change our central case for seven 25bp rate hikes through 2023, though the first of these hikes is more likely to come in June than in July, as we had previously thought.”