Thursday, 24 January, 2019

'No' Jerome Powell won't resign

Global markets have tumbled at the start of 2019 extending the sharp losses of last yearMore Global markets have tumbled at the start of 2019 extending the sharp losses of last yearMore
Celia Hoffman | 05 January, 2019, 03:09

"If the president asked you to resign, would you do it?"

The heavyweight FAANG stocks - Facebook Inc, Apple, Amazon.com Inc, Netflix Inc and Google-parent Alphabet Inc - surged between 3.6 per cent and 7.8 per cent, bolstering gains on the S&P and Nasdaq.

DXY's up move to the 96.60 region, or session highs, is now an ephemeral memory as a outcome of the dovish tone from Chief Powell's speech at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association.

Investors have grown nervous in recent months, anxious in part about moves by the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates, despite signs of a global growth slowdown.

Asked at an economic conference in Atlanta if he would step down should Mr Trump request his resignation, Mr Powell said, "No".

Powell had been sitting next to former Federal Reserve chairmen Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke when he was asked about his impending meetings with the President regarding Fed policy, which the President has emphasized in the past as the number one problem with the economy. No face-to-face meetings have been scheduled, he added.

More news: Georgia’s Justin Fields transferring to Ohio State

He also defended the Fed's rate rises, pointing to strong economic data that suggest businesses and households can handle the higher costs.

Jerome Powell, chairman of the Fed said: "Markets are expressing concerns about global growth in particular, that's becoming the main focus and trade negotiations which are related to that". "And particularly with muted inflation readings that we've seen coming in, we will be patient as we watch to see how the economy evolves".

The Fed is "prepared to adjust policy quickly and flexibly" to support the economy, he added.

A strong jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics also likely quelled some fears that the U.S.is part of a broader economic deceleration.

The dollar weakened, Treasury yields advanced and US stocks surged to close 3.4 per cent higher on the S&P 500 Index as investors interpreted the Fed chairman as sounding as if he sees scope to wait and see how the economy performs before raising rates again.

"If we ever came to the conclusion that any aspect of our plans was somehow interfering with our attainment of our statutory goals, we wouldn't hesitate to change it, and that would include the balance sheet, " he said.

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