The Federal Reserve isn't likely to allow the 2016 presidential election to delay its looming rate hike, according to one expert.
"The Fed does not want to be seen as political," said Timothy High, a director and U.S. interest rates strategist at BNP Paribas, based in New York. "If the data warrant it and [the Fed says] they are data dependent, they should go.'
Job growth in recent months has been volatile, but encouraging.
The economy added 255,000 jobs in July, 292,000 in June and a paltry 24,000 in May, leaving the three-month average at 190,000 positions.
High forecasts nonfarm payrolls growth of 215,000 in August, which would bring the three-month average of job creation to roughly 250,000 jobs, which is double what the Fed says a stable labor market needs.
That, along with improving financial conditions, leads High to believe a September rate hike is in play. "Conditions are easier since Brexit, not tighter," High said of Britain's vote to leave the European Union. "Interest rates are lower around the world, stock markets are higher and the Fed has more scope to tighten after Brexit."
Last Friday, the same day as the release of the blowout July jobs numbers, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at all-time record highs.
Back in February, when oil prices dipped to $26 a barrel and the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average reached lows for the year, BNP Paribas scrapped its rate hike forecasts for 2016 and 2017, citing tightening financial conditions.
Speaking of oil, the closely watched commodity is back in focus after dipping below $40 a barrel last week, hitting a two-month low. But oil has stabilized, holding well above $40 in recent sessions. Reports suggest OPEC is set to hold a meeting in September, leaving speculation that a possible production freeze among the world's biggest producers is on the table to lift oil out of its recent rout.
High said he doesn't read too much into these OPEC developments, as rumors of a production freeze or cut came into play earlier this year but never came to fruition.