FXStreet (Delhi) – Derek Halpenny, European Head of GMR at MUFG, notes that the data yesterday from the US confirmed that automakers sold 17.5mn light-duty cars and trucks in 2015, surpassing the previous record of 17.4mn set in 2000. Key Quotes “Cheap fuel, attractive financing deals and rising consumer confidence due to the strength of the labour market all contributed to fuelling strong demand. Still, it would appear that this good news for the auto sector is already well priced and that there are doubts over how sustainable this demand can be going forward. GM shares fell 2.6% yesterday and are down nearly 12% from its Q4 peak in November. Other automakers’ share prices also fell yesterday. Of course on element contributing to strong demand that may not last is the cheap financing. With the Fed lifting rates for the first time in December, attractive deals are certainly likely to become less attractive. The minutes of that crucial FOMC meeting in December will be released tonight and might throw some light on the kind of path future rate hikes this year will take. The FOMC statement used the word “gradual” to describe the pace of tightening and it will be interesting to see if there was much debate about the use of this word and debate about the general path of rate increases going forward. Chair Yellen stated the path will not be predictable and that every meeting is live – but how true is that when taking action at press conference meetings when economic projections and the DOTS are updated has obvious appeal? What we will look closely at this evening are for references to the US dollar. The FOMC raised rates with the industrial sector basically in recession. Industrial production on an annual basis has plunged from 1.5% in August to -1.2% in November. The strength of the dollar and the renewed fall in oil prices have weighed on the sector. How comfortable were FOMC raising rates considering the weakness in industrial and manufacturing activity? Our suspicion is that as before the minutes will show limited concern given the negative impact from falling oil prices and from the dollar are expected to slowly fade as we progress through this year. Short-term yields are set to remain well underpinned with plenty of potential for the 2-year yield to jump higher from here and that will be crucial in maintaining support for the US dollar generally For more information, read our latest forex news.