Dollar Stronger on Powell's Hawkish Tone

Dollar Stronger on Powell's Hawkish Tone

Dollar Stronger on Powell's Hawkish Tone

After his comments highlighting the strengthening economy roiled financial markets on Tuesday amid concerns the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates at a faster pace, Powell made it clear that gradual rate hikes would allow the economy to continue to expand.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of USA economic activity, gained 0.2 percent in January, while core PCE price index, the Federal Reserve's favored gauge on inflation, rose 0.2 percent compared with economists' expectation of a 0.3 percent rise. Sea ADR's fell 10.6 percent in NY. Some traders took that as a signal that the Fed may raise rates more quickly than the market expected.

As a candidate, Trump campaigned on an "America First" trade policy, and a big fear for investors has been that increasingly nationalistic governments will impose barriers that hurt the global economy and trade, as well as profits for USA exporters.

Markets had plunged after Powell's initial testimony on Tuesday, when his first public remarks as Fed chair were marked by bullish comments on the United States economy. The S&P 500 is now up just 0.2 percent for the year after having its best January in 20 years.

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Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 2.8 percent to 21,109.44 and South Korea's Kospi slid 1.5 percent to 2,391.81. Yet the Fed officials' comments were overshadowed by President Donald Trump's announcement of a plan to raise tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the sort of move Fed policymakers have warned about since the Republican took office past year.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 374 points, or 1.5 percent, to 24,645, and the Nasdaq composite lost 83, or 1.2 percent, to 7,190. European Council President Donald Tusk will meet British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday and said he hopes to hear proposals on key issues.

Steel makers were sharply higher following reports that the government would announce tariffs on imported steel. We have been talking about the inherent weakness in the gold prices and how it could not sustain the move towards the highs of the range when the demand is low and the dollar was expected to gain in strength. Benchmark Treasury yields rose, a sign that investors expect the Fed to tighten monetary policy this year.

Powell says that he believed the labour market can strengthen further without causing an acceleration in inflation.

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USA gold futures were down 0.2% at US$1,314.7 per ounce. When the market entered a period of turbulence earlier this month it was triggered by a report that the annual increase in wages had come in at a higher-than-expected level of 2.9 percent. Brent crude, the global standard, rose 17 cents to $64.00 a barrel. Brent crude, the global standard, dropped 29 cents to $66.23 per barrel.

Among other precious metals, silver shed 0.3% to US$16.35 an ounce. Thus by giving everyone a tax break, you may generate a rise in demand for imports and the currencies those imports are denominated in over the US Dollar which is more likely to weaken from being more heavily sold.

The euro was steady at $1.2192 and in close reach of a 1-1/2-month low of $1.2188 plumbed the previous day.

France's CAC 40 fell 1.1 percent and Germany's DAX was down 2 percent.

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