Powell signals more hikes ahead if United States economy stays strong

Powell signals more hikes ahead if US economy stays strong

Fed chair Jerome Powell’s highly anticipated speech: what to expect

Global equity markets rose on Friday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the US central bank's policies are best to keep the economy humming, spurring new highs on Wall Street, while oil surged on signs Iran sanctions may crimp worldwide supply.

Powell, speaking at the annual Jackson Hole monetary conference, also said declining economic mobility, an unsustainable federal deficit and low productivity are long-term structural challenges.

The Fed seems to be "doing as good a job as they cannot to overshoot" the tightening of monetary policy, said David Levy of Republic Wealth Advisers.

On Thursday, the dollar had gained almost 0.7 percent against the Japanese currency after the Fed's minutes showed officials discussed raising rates soon.

There are no clear signs of inflation accelerating above 2 percent, meaning there is little or no risk of overheating.

Though they made no public comments Thursday, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, once seen as steadfast doves, in recent months have lent their support to rate hikes, conventionally seen as a hawkish action.

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The Fed in June increased interest rates for the second time this year, and pencilled in two more rate hikes for the year.

ANALYST TAKE: "This year's meeting is more about market structure than current monetary policy and so prepare for a non-event", said Neil Wilson, chief markets analyst at Markets.com. "Inflation is near our 2 per cent objective and most people who want a job are finding one".

The Fed under Chair Jerome Powell has been raising rates and is expected to do so again when policymakers meet next month. The economy is strong and the Fed must walk a tight line between not snuffing out growth and not allowing an overheated economy to produce runaway inflation. "But probably not that early, it's probably something like late this year, or next year".

Global stocks generally advanced Friday as investors awaited developments from this weekend's meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Though Powell chose not to mention Trump's criticism, other Fed officials asserted that the president's complaints about rate hikes would have no effect on their policymaking.

Powell focused his remarks in part on the difficulty the Fed faces in setting interest-rate policies at a time when the economy seems to be undergoing changes that challenge long-standing beliefs of how low unemployment can fall before it ignites inflation pressures. The bank made a total of seven rate hikes since December 2015, three coming a year ago. "Inflation has moved up and is now near the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) objective of 2 percent after running generally below that level for six years".

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