Powell could tackle key issues in high-profile speech Friday

Powell could tackle key issues in high-profile speech Friday

Speaking just days after President Donald Trump criticized the USA central bank's rate hikes, Powell used an annual research symposium here to "explain today why my colleagues and I believe that this gradual process.remains appropriate".

The euro gained 0.7 percent to $1.1625.

Asian markets were mixed on Friday as China-US trade talks wrapped up with little progress being made, while the dollar held up ahead of a key speech by the head of the Federal Reserve.

Sounds like an endorsement for the President's economic policy, but we know the Fed can't say that.

Stocks were up about 0.2% and the us dollar was sliding a bit.

Mr Powell's comments were not a direct response to Mr Trump's criticism that he is "not thrilled" with the Fed raising rates as he is trying to stimulate economic growth.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies stood at 95.618, holding most of its gains after rising 0.55 percent overnight to snap a six-day losing run.

U.S. rates aren't going to go up forever, and neither is the U.S. Dollar. -China war escalated with a fresh round of tariffs on each other and investors assessed the likely political fallout from the legal woes of two former advisers to President Trump.




Shares of industrial giants Caterpillar Inc and Boeing Co, bellwethers of trade confidence, were among the biggest drags on the Dow, which lost about 0.3 percent.

Fed funds and eurodollar futures prices indicate financial markets expect only one rate hike next year, leaving rates in a range of 2.50 percent to 2.75 percent by mid-2019, up from the Fed's current target of 1.75 percent to 2.00 percent. Before Powell's speech yields were at 2.850 percent.

Speaking at a research symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Powell said the Fed's gradual interest rate hikes were the best way to protect the economic recovery, maintain strong job growth and keep inflation under control.

The research theme at the Jackson Hole conference this year involves change in market structure, and Powell used that topic to elaborate on why shifts in concepts like the level of "full employment" and the neutral rate of interest justify gradual rate increases.

The Australian dollar has lost nearly two percent against the greenback since Tuesday as the prime minister's political career came to an end. However, the Kansas City Fed's annual conference here is among the central bank's higher profile annual events, drawing global media attention and an audience including representatives of other nations' central banks.

The greenback extended its overnight surge to touch a two-week high of 111.49 yen. On Thursday, it slumped 1.4 percent as Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull faced challenges to his leadership. Japan's Nikkei .N225 climbed 0.85 percent, lifted by a weaker yen.

Oil prices edged higher. Minutes from the Federal Reserve´s last meeting, released on Wednesday, showed that officials had examined how global trade disputes could affect businesses and households, suggesting that the market´s perceived path for monetary tightening could have to change if the trade conflict upsets the USA economy.

Brent crude futures rose 0.45 percent to $75.07 per barrel, while USA crude added 0.6 percent to $68.25.

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