International Monetary Fund chief defends Powell after Trump says Fed has 'gone crazy'

Trump says Federal Reserve ‘has gone crazy’ after big stock drop

After Stock Market Drop, President Trump Says Federal Reserve ‘Has Gone Crazy’

A spike in Treasury yields and solid United States economic data have sparked concerns that the Federal Reserve may pick up the pace of its interest rate hikes. That is a good thing.

"That's ridiculous what they're doing, " Trump told Fox News on Thursday morning.

Trump selected Powell, a Republican who served in the George H.W. Bush administration, to lead the Fed over a number of other candidates - including several who favoured even more aggressive rate hikes.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 dropped almost two percent at the open and extended losses to below the three-percent mark, as traders fretted about surging interest rates and an ongoing trade spat. The president is not dictating policy to the Fed.

Mr Trump's comments follow several days of declines in United States stock markets. "The problem in my opinion is the Fed, " he added.

The newspaper said the White House is laying the groundwork for the meeting, saying Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow want to de-escalate the trade fight.

The Federal Reserve can likely stop raising USA interest rates once they reach about 3 per cent, as long as inflation remains around 2 per cent and the economy is doing well, Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans suggested on Wednesday.

The International Monetary Fund cut its outlook for global growth this week, citing interest rates and trade tensions.

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Trump began imposing tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese imports in January 2018, with Beijing retaliating by slapping tariffs on United States goods in response.

The gradually rising rates, Fed officials say, are meant to guard against any quick run-up in inflation, while remaining low enough so far for the recovery and a strong run of job growth to continue. Investors were on edge after a rout rolled through Asia on Thursday, driving China's benchmark to a four-year low and sending indexes in Japan, Korea and Australia plunging.

"It's had a big impact", Trump said in a Fox News interview.

The Fed raised interest rates last month, and is expected to do so again in December.

But one unintended effect is that raising interest rates can scare off investors and precipitate a sell off in equities.

The biggest driver for the market over the last week has been interest rates, which began spurting higher following several encouraging reports on the economy.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is aiming to extend the second-longest USA 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.

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