The reaction of emerging-market central bankers will be under scrutiny as the world awaits signs of further monetary policy tightening from the US Federal Reserve at the start of May. The US federal open market committee took a hawkish tone under new chairman Jerome Powell in March, when it hiked rates. Now it is thought that deliberations on May 1-2 may yield a similar outcome, adding pressure to emerging markets. SA Institute of Race Relations chief economist Ian Cruickshanks says: "What’s more important is that market watchers are watching the tone of the announcement as much as the impact on interest rates themselves." The market’s anticipation of a more aggressive path has started to reflect in the US 10-year treasury bond yield, which was 2.8% at the time of writing, from 2% in recent months. "It’s a slow move, but it is a move," says Cruickshanks. Market expectations are for up to four hikes this year, including the increase in the fund rate in March. Cruickshanks has pencill...

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