Friday, 16 November, 2018

Trump says Fed ‘making a big mistake’ by being too aggressive

The Federal Reserve is not pleasing President Trump with its policy on interest rate increases The Federal Reserve is not pleasing President Trump with its policy on interest rate increasesGETTY IMAGES
Orlando Vargas | 12 October, 2018, 13:25

O'Hare attributed the losses to worries about higher interest rates but also cited a "broad-scale deterioration in sentiment" as investors realized that the pullback on Wall Street failed to prompt bargain hunting to stabilize prices, as has been the norm in recent years. The index fell by more than 3%.

USA stocks are lower Thursday and heading toward their sixth consecutive decline. France's CAC 40 and the British FTSE 100 both dropped 1.9 percent and the DAX in Germany lost 1.5 percent.

This is in sync with Japan's Nikkei that declined by 3.41 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng by 3.53 per cent, Singapore exchange by 2.64 per cent and the Korean Kospi plunged by 2.28 per cent today. The Kospi in South Korea fell 4.4 percent.

Bond yields, which have spiked over the last week, slid after the Labor Department said consumer prices grew only slightly in September. "The Fed has gone insane", Trump said.

The market's recent decline was set off by a sharp drop in bond prices and a corresponding increase in yields last week and early this week. Strong earnings reports in the upcoming weeks could soothe investor nerves, but any negative comments from company executives about future profits could have the opposite effect.

The comments followed his strongest criticism late Thursday when he said the Fed had "gone crazy" and blamed the interest rate increases for the stock selloff, which caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to lose more than 800 points in its worst tumble since February. "They're so tight. I think the Fed has gone insane".

'We know the Fed is independent.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement following the close of markets that the US economy is "incredibly strong" despite the sell-off, which analysts attributed in part to trade tensions with China. "The fundamentals of the United States economy continue to be strong", he said.

He spoke after International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde defended central bank rate hikes in a veiled rebuke to Trump. Frenkel told CNBC that, with growth back on track and unemployment low, "that's the time to normalize".

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"All bets are off", warned Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at OANDA, adding that markets were "fraught with peril".

'This is just who we are and I think who we will always be, which is, we're a group who - we're quite removed from the political process, ' Powell said in a recent interview.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is aiming to extend the second-longest US economic expansion on record by moving interest rates up just quickly enough to prevent overheating, but not so rapidly that the central bank chokes off growth.

"It is a correction that I think it is caused by the Federal Reserve, with interest rates", Trump told reporters at the White House.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on Hurricane Michael in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, October 10, 2018. I also suspect that if Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell keeps doing the right thing by shrugging of Trump's tweets, long-term rates will be lower than they would otherwise be.

"No, I'm not going to fire him".

Last week's jump in yields followed strong USA data but many analysts have been anticipating a change in the dynamics in the bond market due to expectations that central banks in Europe and Japan will soon phase out bond-buying programmes.

Trump has repeatedly touted the spate of Wall Street records as proof of the success of his economic program, including his confrontational trade strategy, and criticized the Fed for raising the benchmark interest rate - three times this year - saying it would undermines his efforts.

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