Saturday, 17 August, 2019

Wall Street touches new highs after comments by Fed's Powell

Embedded Image Federal Reserve chairman signals cut in US interest rates
Russell Knight | 11 July, 2019, 05:51

Powell said last Friday's relatively strong U.S.jobs report had no impact on the Fed's economic outlook.

The strong comments from the head of the USA central bank, the country's top financial regulator, adds to misgivings about the project, which has already produced strong skepticism among top policymakers across the globe.

"Manufacturing, trade and investment are weak all around the world".

Though the threatened tariffs on Mexico never materialised and China and the U.S. have agreed to resume talks to reach a trade deal, that "did little to alleviate the uncertainty that Fed officials believe is contributing to cooling momentum in global trade and domestic capex plans", Deutsche Bank's United States economics team wrote this week. "It doesn't remove the uncertainty".

Stocks rose and bond yields fell as investors welcomed new signals that the Federal Reserve is ready to cut interest rates for the first time in a decade.

"Libra raises many serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability", Powell said during his semi-annual testimony on monetary policy before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.

Powell, chosen by Trump to run the Fed but now out of his good graces, has worked hard to build relations among lawmakers, and even on a Democratic-controlled committee won plaudits and encouragement to stay on the job. -China trade war. The Fed minutes of the June policy meeting released on Wednesday as well echoed Powell's comments to Congress.

Asked by Waters what he would do if Trump said he wanted to fire him, Powell replied, as he has in the past, that he intends to serve his full four-year term.

According CNBC, Powell testified that "inflation has been running below the Federal Open Market Committee's symmetric 2 percent objective, and crosscurrents, such as trade tensions and concerns about global growth, have been weighing on economic activity and the outlook".

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Powell also says the Fed is coordinating with other regulators, such as the Treasury Department, and other central banks overseas.

'I can't hear you, ' Waters said, urging a more enthusiastic response from the Federal Reserve chairman.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 8 points, or 0.27% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 23.75 points, or 0.3%. The U.S. dollar fell against a basket of other currencies.

Meanwhile, the yield on 10-year Treasuries slipped to 2.04%.

"My sense is that Powell is more concerned about global financial conditions ... than he is pacified by a strong USA labor market", said Jim Caron from Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

The Fed has kept its current benchmark overnight interest rate in a range of between 2.25 percent and 2.50 percent since December.

"Equities across the globe are likely to hold their breath as markets ponder whether Powell would confirm or downplay expectations for a potential US rate cut this month", FXTM research analyst Lukman Otunuga wrote in a note.

Futures are still fully priced for a 25-basis-point cut at the Fed's July 30-31 meeting, but have abandoned wagers on a half-point move.

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