Shares - Wall Road Flies Excessive on Fed Persistence, Job Features

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'No' Jerome Powell won't resign

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome "Jay" Powell took steps to reassure financial markets on Friday, saying that the U.S. central bank would be "patient" about rate rises.

"Powell's comments that the Fed is prepared to alter policy expectations quickly and flexibly are weighing on the U.S. dollar and giving risk sentiment a boost", said Eric Viloria, FX strategist at Credit Agricole in NY. The Dow Jones industrial average was up around 700 points near the close.

When asked whether he would comply with a resignation request by Trump, Powell said, "No".

The losses in the Japan also followed Thursday's grim Wall Street session, which saw major indices end down more than two percent after Apple slashed its revenue forecast on weak demand in China and a United States report showed manufacturing activity slumping to a two-year low. "We're listening sensitively to the message that markets are sending". By December 2018, however, Trump was already indicating that he wanted to fire Powell due to rising interest rates that forced deep dives in the stock market.

That robust figure, however, will not as of now change the Fed's plan to conduct two rate hikes this year, as the central bank awaits more economic indicators coming in the next few months. "Can we wait?", Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester said in an interview with Reuters.

"No one knows whether this year will be like 2016", Powell said in remarks that appeared to be scripted at the start of the event.

Powell called the jobs report "very strong", with US data "on track to sustain good momentum into the new year".

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Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey's targets are the YPG, the PKK and IS. Bolton visited the Western Wall earlier in the day.

Trump has criticized the Fed chief for raising rates, and Bloomberg News reported December 21 that the president had discussed firing Powell. "We are always prepared to shift the stance of policy and to shift it significantly" if needed.

Although still low by historical standards, this latest hike put interest rates at the highest level in almost a decade.

Jerome Powell, chairman of the Fed said: "Markets are expressing concerns about global growth in particular, that's becoming the main focus and trade negotiations which are related to that". That flexibility, he added, applied as well to the monthly reductions to the Fed's balance sheet. Stocks have been pressured since mid-December when the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate a quarter-point while issuing a somewhat-hawkish statement despite lowering its rate hike projections from three to two.

Powell told the panel in Atlanta that he has not received any communications from the White House so far and has not scheduled a meeting with Trump.

Asked if there were any plans to meet with Trump, he declined to give a specific answer, simply saying "I would say that meetings between presidents and Fed chairs do happen".

On December 19th, Powell said that the scheme to reduce the Fed's bloated balance sheet is on "autopilot".

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