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With the latest minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve showing little appetite to raise interest rates quickly, influential investor Dennis Gartman told CNBC that investors shouldn't expect any move from the Fed for up to another year.
"There's little to be drawn from the minutes. I think the FOMC used the referendum (on the U.K. leaving the EU) as a reason to do nothing. They would prefer doing nothing and they will probably do nothing for a long period of time. 'Lower for longer' is probably the way to consider what the Fed is going to do for quite some long period going forward," Gartman, the founder and publisher of the Gartman Letter, said on Thursday.
"There is a lack of resolve on the part of the economy here in the U.S. We're moving forward at a very tepid rate and I think we're stuck here at these low levels of Fed funds for a long period of time, certainly until the end of this year and perhaps into the middle of next year."
Minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's last meeting in June showed policymakers were divided on the economic outlook for the country.
Federal Reserve policymakers said it would be "prudent to wait for additional data on the consequences of the U.K. (Brexit) vote" before raising rates, and cited a slowdown in hiring as a reason to keep rates unchanged last month, minutes released Wednesday afternoon showed.
Any rate hike was conditional on three elements, policymakers also said: confirmation that growth is picking up, jobs gains that are sufficient, and inflation that's rising to a target pegged by several economists at 2 percent.
Still, some policymakers were concerned that delaying a rise in the Federal funds rate would increase the risks to financial stability or overshooting the Fed's objectives.
U.S. stocks rebounded on Wednesday following the publication of the minutes. The introduction of low interest rates by central banks following the financial crisis in 2008 was a bid to stimulate borrowing and growth. It prompted investors to invest heavily in equities in a search for yield, pushing U.S. and global indices higher in the process.
Gartman said that the Fed's indecision over rate hikes had caused equities to become overvalued.
"I find it very difficult to be anything other than modestly bearish. I trade only from my own account and I am modestly short of equities generally and I think that's the proper place to be. It's a little scary to be bullish at these prices when it's the Fed and monetary authorities who are sponsoring share prices (going) higher – it can't last for very long."
"If you have to buy, the only place to be a buyer is the U.S. but you'd have to hold a gun to my head to be an aggressive buyer. I'm quietly, modestly net short and I feel reasonably comfortable being that way."
The non-farm payrolls report due Friday will be the next key data point for investors. Gartman said that the number of jobs added in June would be around 180,000-190,000 although he cautioned that the number was an "egregiously revisable and revised number." Gartman said the payrolls number would give the Fed another excuse not to change direction on rate increases.
"It will again give the Fed a reason to do nothing. Will it be reason for them to tighten monetary policy? No. Will it be any reason to ease monetary policy? No. They'll be happy to sit upon their hands and say 'thank God'."
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