Fed's Powell doubles down on rate cut signal

Fed's Powell doubles down on rate cut signal

Fed's Powell doubles down on rate cut signal

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated pledges to "act as appropriate" to keep the USA economy humming in a speech on Tuesday that did not deviate from expectations that an interest rate cut is on the way.

"Based on incoming data and other developments, it appears that uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the USA economic outlook".

He noted the need to raise the federal government's borrowing limit and Britain's pending departure from the European Union as additional challenges facing the economy.

He said the argument for a rate cut, which is widely expected by investors this year, does not mean the Fed was on track for further cuts.

Powell repeated that the central bank "will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion", which after 10 years is finally reaching marginalized segments of U.S. society.

Hong Kong protesters march with mock coffin of city leader
By about 8:30 p.m. (1230 GMT), most had retreated as police in riot helmets and wielding large shields swept through the town to clear the streets.

Wall Street continues to price in a 100 percent chance of a reduction in the benchmark federal funds rate - which is now between 2.25 percent and 2.50 percent - at the Fed's upcoming July 31st meeting, with most traders anticipating a 25 basis point cut.

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan on Friday said the best argument for easing US monetary policy is the narrow gap between short-term and long-term interest rates. "In a number of countries, including the United States, these declines have been accompanied by strong labor markets and a much lower unemployment rate".

Central bankers have "raised concerns about a more prolonged shortfall in inflation below our 2 percent target", Powell said in a prepared speech at a Bank of France event.

With inflation and interest rates low, the Fed must operate in an environment when its key policy rate will remain low, giving the Fed less room to cut rates if the economy weakens.

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