US President Trump takes aim at Federal Reserve for rates hike

Trump Attacks Fed Reserve Chairman For Not Acting Like A 'Cheap Money' Central Banker

US President Donald Trump criticised US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for raising interest rates, breaking with recent presidents' practice of not commenting on the Fed's handling of the economy.

In currencies, the dollar came under pressure after Trump reiterated his displeasure at the Fed's rate hikes, saying the central bank should do more to help him boost the United States economy. In an interview with Reuters, the president said he was not thrilled with the rate hikes under new Fed boss Jerome Powell, repeating comments made last month about the bank's tightening measures.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently told reporters that he had personally spoken to Trump about the central bank and that the president respects the independence of the Federal Reserve. Next time he mutters veiled threats against the Fed, some real turbulence could ensue.

He said the Fed was designed so that it would be accountable to policy makers and the public, but it was also created to be somewhat independent from jawboning from the White House.

Meanwhile, Trump also said he did not expect much progress from trade talks with China this week in Washington.

Financial market analysts doubt current Fed policy makers are likely to be cowed by Trump's outbursts over their policy choices.

The Fed is expected to raise rates twice more this year.

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USA stock prices dipped after Trump's comments to Reuters and the USA dollar.DXY edged down against a basket of currencies.

At the meeting ended August 1, the Fed left interest rates unchanged as expected.

It is worth noting that despite Trump's criticism of Powell's rate hike plan, the markets are still discounting 75 basis points of hiking by December 2019. In a confirmation hearing a year ago, shortly after Mr. Trump nominated him to the position, he told senators he expected the Fed to continue raising interest rates in the near term.

Trump has broken from the majority of Republicans on monetary policy with his support for low interest rates to stimulate the economy.

The Fed has been raising rates gradually since 2015 and policymakers are now concerned the economy is so strong that inflation could rise persistently above the central bank's 2 percent target. "And I think the euro is being manipulated also", Trump said.

"We do our work in a strictly nonpolitical way, based on detailed analysis, which we put on the record transparently, and we don't take political considerations into account", Powell said in the interview.

After sliding to a two-year low of 15.70 last week as the Turkish crisis triggered a broad flight from emerging markets, the rand has regained some ground, advancing around 8% in the last seven days as the greenback's rally faltered.

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