Fed criticism drives dollar to eight-week low against yen

Trump criticized Powell Fed rate hikes at GOP fundraiser reports

Greg Nash

"While Trump's displeasure for rising interest rates is nothing new, and the Fed maintains full operational independence, markets remain attentive to such comments", wrote strategists at ANZ.

Trump selected Powell for the job past year from a short list of several prominent central bankers, praising Powell for his "wisdom" and "leadership" skills when he nominated him formally in November.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 17, 2018. Trump nominated Powell a year ago to replace former Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Trump has departed from this past practice and said he would not shy from future criticism should the Fed keep lifting rates.

"What Trump is anxious about is that the Fed has, in my own words, growth phobia", Stephen Moore, a Republican economic commentator who advised Mr. Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, told the Wall Street Journal.

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Raising interest rates would increase the costs of borrowing money, which could slow economic growth and job gains.

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said on Monday he was maintaining his expectation for one more interest rate hike this year, as trade tensions and global events add some downside risk to an otherwise strong United States outlook. The benchmark rate is now in a range of 1.75 per cent to 2 per cent, and the Fed has indicated it is likely to hikes rates two more times before the end of the year.

Powell has described the economy as "strong" numerous times this summer, but he also sees this as an opportune time to lift interest rates back to normal levels after years at historic lows, a Fed effort to stimulate the economy in the aftermath of the financial crisis and Great Recession.

Trump said China was manipulating its yuan currency to make up for having to pay tariffs on imports imposed by Washington.

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Intel Corp INTC.O shares dropped 1.3 percent after brokerage Cowen & Co said the chipmaker's disclosure of new security bugs in some of its microprocessors may push cloud companies to seek other suppliers. "And I think the euro is being manipulated also".

A Fed spokesman declined to comment on Trump's remarks on Monday. Trump said to Reuters about Powell.

Trump has also publicly criticized Powell several times this summer and reportedly did so again Friday at a GOP fundraiser in NY, saying he thought the chairman would support "easy money".

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