Trump calls US Federal Reserve his 'biggest threat'

United States stock markets, which had largely expected a "steady as you go" statement, moved slightly higher but remained loss-making after the update, which stressed a continuation of the Fed's "gradual" approach to rate rise policy.

Key U.S. economic data to watch today includes the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index, the Conference Board's Leading Index and Weekly Unemployment Claims.

In minutes from last month's central bank rate-setting meeting, which unanimously agreed a third rise of the year, policymakers said further rate hikes "would most likely be consistent" with current economic indicators.

Participants in the Fed's rate-setting committee also "generally anticipated that further gradual increases" in short-term borrowing costs "would most likely be consistent" with the kind of continued economic expansion, labor market strength, and firm inflation that a lot of them are anticipating, the minutes showed.

"There are a lot of other people there I'm not so happy with", he said. That would put it above the 3 percent level which the Fed now pegs as its "neutral rate".

"A few participants expected that policy would need to become modestly restrictive for a time", according to the minutes.

In the minutes it says "a couple" of policymakers stated that they would not be in favour of adopting a restrictive policy stance without "clear signs of an overheating economy".

Trump, who has openly criticized the Fed since July, doubled down on Tuesday, declaring the Fed his "biggest threat" in an interview on Fox Business.

Meanwhile, the Fed took notice of clouds forming on the horizon. Furthermore, it also said it will maintain its policy of gradual rate hikes because it is the best policy to follow - one that helps slow inflation while allowing the economy to continue to grow.

Stronger US currency makes American exports more costly to foreign buyers, possibly weighing on growth, and makes many debt payments more costly for foreign borrowers.

Fed members said Trump's trade wars both created uncertainty and could boost inflation.

The White House has put punishing tariffs on more than $250 billion in annual Chinese imports. "I'm anxious about the fact that they seem to like raising interest rates".

Wall Street, which had struggled through much of the day, closed slightly lower, with stocks paring losses after the minutes' release.



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