With the excitement surrounding the Federal Reserve's decision to maintain its monetary policy over, US stock futures fell slightly on Friday as investors waited for speeches from two policymakers.
Kansas City Fed President Esther George and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard will speak in New York following the central bank's shock decision to keep up its $85bn in monthly asset purchases.
Economists had predicted a tapering of between $10bn and $15bn per month but the Fed said it wanted to see further recovery before making such a move.
George, who was one of the few policymakers to back a trimming of stimulus, will be the first to take to the stage. She had suggested the central bank reduce its bond purchases by $15bn to $70bn ahead of this week's two-day policy meeting which ended Wednesday.
Her address will be followed by speech from Bullard, who has a differing view to George. He has said previously that the he didn't think there was any rush to trim stimulus.
However, in an interview with Bloomberg ahead of his speech, Bullard said the Fed could scale back its quantitative easing at an October meeting if data showed a stronger economy.
"This was a close decision here in September," Bullard said, adding that it might be a possibility in October but could not guarantee "it's going to happen".
The Fed's move to hold back on tapering has garnered criticism from some Republican lawmakers, putting pressure on Janet Yellen who is widely expected to take over from Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Yellen has been a big supporter of the Fed's monetary easing and was perhaps the force behind the decision to move to an even more accommodative policy last December, according to Laurence Meyer, a Fed governor from 1996 to 2002.
Bob Corker, the Republican senator from Tennessee and a senior member of the Senate banking committee, said he hoped the central bank's decision didn't mean "the Fed has gotten itself into a trade it can't get out of, which over time will create a whole new set of problems".
Also, hedge-fund manager Mark Spindel believes Yellen's candidacy may be a catalyst for rising inflation forecasts in financial markets.
"If it is Janet, I think you have to price in some tolerance for higher inflation," Spindel, head of Potomac River Capital, told Bloomberg.
Yet her policy insists on stable prices in order to improve employment conditions and hold interest rates near zero.
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