Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Trump renews Fed criticism, says raising rates too fast

I don't like Fed raising interest rates so quickly, says Trump U.S. markets drop sharply as investors are spooked by rising rates
Elsie Buchanan | 11 October, 2018, 12:30

President Donald Trump says the Federal Reserve "has gone crazy" after a major drop in stock prices Wednesday.

"The Fed has gone insane", Mr. Trump told reporters while traveling to Erie, Pennsylvania, for a campaign rally. "I think the Fed is making a mistake", he said before a rally with his supporters in Erie, Pa.

Trump has repeatedly touted Wall Street records as proof of the success of his economic program, including his confrontational trade strategy.

"My assumption for the policy rate is that we can achieve our objective of keeping inflation to the 2 percent symmetric objective and the unemployment rate slowly rising back towards its sustainable rate with that stance of funds rate - but if we need more, we'll do more", he said.

President Trump, who has claimed much of the credit for the strong economy, has criticized the Fed's pace of raising interest rates, saying going too fast could slow growth and job creation.

"I like low interest rates", Trump said.

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.

The president said of the market losses, "Actually, it's a correction that we've been waiting for a long time".

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Larry Benedict, founder of the Opportunistic Trader, said that even while some of the largest names in tech - including Netflix, Amazon, Google and Facebook - saw some of the steepest dips, they are all up significantly for the year.

Last week's jump in yields followed strong U.S. 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.

Ivan Feinseth, Chief Investment Officer at Tigress Financial Partners, said that although the sell-off caught him off-guard, he thought many investors were unduly frightened by the prospect of rising rates.

Despite Wednesday's sell-off, the S&P 500 would still need to more than double its losses.

And while stocks could get a boost from strong corporate earnings, there are concerns the United States trade conflicts will start to undermine profits.

Bourses in Paris and Frankfurt both lost more than two%, while London fell 1.3%.

Markets have been shaken by a row between Brussels and Rome, which are at loggerheads after Italy's populist government passed a purse-busting budget last week to the annoyance of the EU. Berkshire Hathaway dipped 4.7 percent to $213.10 and reinsurer Everest Re slid 5.1 percent to $217.73.

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