- Trump Demands Fed Help on Economy, Complains About Interest Rate Rises
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he was “not thrilled” with the Federal Reserve under his own appointee, Chairman Jerome Powell, for raising interest rates and said the U.S. central bank should do more to help him to boost the economy.
In the middle of international trade disputes, Trump in an interview with Reuters also accused China and Europe of manipulating their respective currencies.
American presidents have rarely criticized the Fed in recent decades because its independence has been seen as important for economic stability. Trump has departed from this past practice and said he would not shy from future criticism should the Fed keep lifting rates.
The president spooked investors in July when he criticized the U.S. central bank’s over tightening monetary policy. On Monday he said the Fed should be more accommodating on interest rates.
“I’m not thrilled with his raising of interest rates, no. I’m not thrilled,” Trump said, referring to Powell. Trump nominated Powell last year to replace former Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
U.S. stock prices dipped after Trump’s comments to Reuters and the U.S. dollar .DXY edged down against a basket of currencies.
Trump, who criticized the Fed when he was a candidate, said other countries benefited from their central banks’ moves during tough trade talks, but the United States was not getting support from the Fed.
“We’re negotiating very powerfully and strongly with other nations. We’re going to win. But during this period of time I should be given some help by the Fed. The other countries are accommodated,” Trump said.
The Fed has raised interest rates twice this year and is expected to do so again next month with consumer price inflation rising to 2.9 percent in July, its highest level in six years, and unemployment at 3.9 percent, the lowest level in about 20 years.
After leaving its policy interest rates at historic lows for about six years after the 2008 global financial crisis, the Fed began slowly raising rates again in late 2015.
Trump said China was manipulating its yuan currency to make up for having to pay tariffs on imports imposed by Washington. “I think China’s manipulating their currency, absolutely. And I think the euro is being manipulated also,” Trump said.
“What they’re doing is making up for the fact that they’re now paying … hundreds of millions of dollars and in some cases billions of dollars into the United States Treasury. And so they’re being accommodated and I’m not. And I’ll still win.”
Trump has frequently accused China of manipulating its currency, but his administration has so far declined to name China formally as a currency manipulator in a semi-annual report from the U.S. Treasury Department.
The U.S. dollar has strengthened this year by 5.35 percent against the yuan, reversing most of its large drop against the Chinese currency in 2017.
The euro is off by about 4.3 percent against the greenback this year, beset by concerns over the pace of economic growth in the EU trading bloc and over U.S.-European trade tensions.
Trump has made reducing U.S. trade deficits a priority and the combination of rising interest rates and a strengthening dollar pose risks for export growth.
A Fed spokesman declined to comment on Trump’s remarks on Monday.
Powell last month said in an interview that the Fed has a “long tradition” of independence from political concerns, and that no one in the Trump administration had said anything to him that gave him concerns on that front.
“We’re going to do our business in a way that’s strictly nonpolitical, without taking political issues into consideration, and that carries out the mandate Congress has given us,” he said.
Financial market analysts doubt current Fed policy makers are likely to be cowed by Trump’s outbursts over their policy choices.
Still, it might affect candidates for openings on the bank’s seven-member board, said Guy LeBas, fixed income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia. Currently only three seats are filled.
“I doubt these comments move the needle for Powell and his colleagues, but it certainly sends a strong signal to those candidates interested in vying for one of the Fed Board’s many open seats: favor easy money policy or find another job,” LeBas said.
In addition to picking Powell as Fed chair, Trump has appointed one other board member, Randal Quarles, and has nominated three others to the panel, two of whom are expected to be confirmed soon by the Senate. That leaves at least one other current opening for him to fill.
Asked if he believed in the Fed’s independence, Trump said: “I believe in the Fed doing what’s good for the country.”
Powell took over as Fed chief earlier this year.
“Am I happy with my choice?” Trump said to Reuters about Powell. “I’ll let you know in seven years.”
Oil Prices News: Oil Gains Following Drops in US Crude Inventories
Oil Prices Gain Following Drops in US Crude Inventories and OPEC High Compliance Level
Global oil prices extended their 2 percent gains on Thursday after data showed U.S crude oil inventories declined last week.
The price of Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is measured, gained 0.2 percent or 7 cents to $43.39 a barrel as at 12:10 pm Nigerian time. While the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude appreciated by 8 cent or 0.2 percent to $41.12 barrels.
Oil prices extended their three days gain after the American Petroleum Institute said the U.S crude inventories declined by 5.4 million barrels in the week ended October 9.
The report released after the market closed on Wednesday revealed that distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, declined by 3.9 million barrels. Those stated drawdowns almost double analysts’ projections for the week.
“Much of the fall is due to the effects of Hurricane Delta shuttering U.S. production in the Gulf of Mexico, and as such, will be a transitory effect,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA.
“Therefore, I am not getting too excited that a turn of direction is upon markets, although both contracts are approaching important technical resistance regions.”
Also, the report that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, referred to as OPEC+ attained 102 percent compliance level with their oil production cuts agreements bolstered global oil outlook. Suggesting that demands for the commodity are likely not growing and could drag down prices in few weeks, especially when one factor in the reopening of Libya’s Sharara oil field, workers returning to operation in Norway and the Gulf of Mexico.
Oil Prices Gain on Tuesday Despite Expected Surge in Global Oil Supplies
Oil Prices Rise Despite Expected Surge in Global Oil Supplies
Oil prices gained on Tuesday despite Libya opening Sharara oil field for production, labour in Norway reaching an agreement with oil firms to return back to work and oil workers in the U.S returning to the Gulf of Mexico region after the Hurrican Delta.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil price is measured, gained 1.77 percent to $42.46 per barrel as at 11:15 am Nigerian time on Tuesday.
While the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil gained 2 percent to close at $40.22 per barrel.
The improvement in prices was after oil prices plunged as much as 3 percent on Monday following a resolution reached by Libyan rebels and government to commence oil production at the nation’s largest oil field, Sharara Oil Field.
This coupled with labour agreement with oil firms in Norway was expected to boost global oil supplies and eventually weighed on prices and disrupt OPEC+ production cuts strategy.
However, prices surged after Nancy Pelosi said she would commence talks on $1.8 trillion stimulus package following President Trump’s return to the White House after he was rushed to hospital following a positive COVID-19 test.
Joe Biden Win Could Boost Oil Prices, Says Goldman Sachs
Oil Prices to Surge Once Joe Biden Wins -Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s largest investment banks, has said Joe Biden win could boost global oil prices despite weak global economic outlook and COVID-19 negative impacts on the world’s growth.
The investment bank, however, remains bullish on both oil and gas prices regardless of the election outcome in November.
The bank sees oil and gas demand rising enough in 2021 to supersede election results but explained that Biden win could bolster prices by making production more expensive and more regulated for producers in the U.S.
In a note written by the bank’s commodities team on Sunday, it said “We do not expect the upcoming U.S. elections to derail our bullish forecasts for oil and gas prices, with a Blue Wave likely to be in fact a positive catalyst.”
“Headwinds to U.S. oil and gas production would rise further under a Joe Biden administration, even if the candidate has struck a centrist tone.”
Goldman Sachs explained that if incumbent, Trump, is re-elected with pro-oil and gas policies in place that “its impact would likely remain modest at best,” Goldman’s analysts wrote, “given the more powerful shift in investor focus to incorporate ESG metrics and the associated corporate capex re-allocation away from fossil fuels.”
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