The first 2016 rate increase by the Federal Reserve could come this summer, Wells Fargo strategist Brian Jacobsen said Friday.
“I don’t think April is going to be late enough for them to really do a hike, but I think that the June meeting is definitely on the table for the FOMC,” the firm’s chief portfolio strategist told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”
The Fed’s policymaking committee is scheduled to hold a two-day meeting next week, and is largely expected to leave interest rates unchanged.
“Most people are anticipating them not to hike, but I believe they’re going to try to send a signal to try to pave the way for a potential rate hike come June,” Jacobsen said.
The chances of a rate hike in June stood at 46 percent on Friday, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.
The Fed’s meeting will take place nearly a week after the European Central Bank expanded its accommodative monetary policy by cutting the key deposit rate to minus 0.4 percent from minus 0.3 percent.
Drew Matus, UBS deputy chief U.S. economist, said in the same interview that the ECB’s decision could make it easier for the Fed to continue raising rates this year.
“To the extent that the foreign central banks are trying to ease policy, trying to stimulate the economy, you could argue that is going to help the U.S. going forward,” he said. “If we could stabilize global growth, then U.S. growth will have a chance.”
U.S. equities surged Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average rising over 200 points, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite both gained over 1 percent. U.S. Treasurys, widely considered as the safest investment in the world, traded lower, with the benchmark 10-year yield hovering just below the key 2 percent level.