US President Donald Trump at the White House with Fed chairman Jerome Powell Photo: Reuters/Carlos Barria

Investors will be closely watching US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s speech on Wednesday, amid speculation that the path of rate hikes will slow next year, even if the Fed goes ahead with a planned increase this month.

US President Donald Trump will also be interested in the statement, and he expressed his displeasure with Powell in an interview on Tuesday.

“So far, I’m not even a little bit happy with my selection of [Jerome Powell]. Not even a little bit,” Trump told The Washington Post. “And I’m not blaming anybody, but I’m just telling you I think that the Fed is way off base with what they’re doing.”

Trump’s sentiments are not out of step with some economists, but many analysts say that the Fed will resist backing off a December increase to avoid looking like it is not independent from the president.

But the odds of a 0.25-point rise in March have fallen to 34% from 50% according to FactSet.