Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

US market 'correction' isn't surprising - US Treasury secretary

US market 'correction' isn't surprising - US Treasury secretary

Japanese stocks plunged by more than three percent Thursday following the worst session on Wall Street for months, as US President Donald Trump said the Federal Reserve had "gone crazy" with plans for higher interest rates.

"The Fed has gone insane", he told reporters on Wednesday as he arrived in Pennsylvania for a campaign rally.

"Part of President Trump's brand is he says what he thinks, but he respects the independence of the Fed and that's clear from his nominations", Hassett said at Council on Foreign Relations on Tuesday.

Trump's comments about the Fed going "crazy" came in contrast to a more measured statement issued by the White House about how the economy was strong. "I like to stay uninvolved", Trump said.

"I'm not thrilled because we go up", he explained, "and every time we go up they want to raise rates again, and I don't really - I am not happy about it, but at the same time I'm letting them do what they feel is best".

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USA presidents have rarely criticised the Fed in recent decades because its independence has been seen as important for economic stability.

The central bank's preferred measure of inflation is roughly at policy makers' 2 percent objective, and Powell said last week that "the outlook of forecasters inside and outside the Fed is for more of the same".

In July, the president complained about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates.

Trump previously criticized the Fed for allowing too much money into the economy in several tweets from 2011, before he became the president. "We don't let other things distract us".

He added later, "The problem, in my opinion, is Treasury's and the Fed". Officials expect to hike rates another quarter percentage-point by the end of this year and gradually continue to raise rates at least through 2019.

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Trump's remarks, almost unprecedented for a USA leader, may roil markets further in retreat on the heels of hefty tariffs imposed on aluminum and steel imports from much of the world, and about half of US imports from China.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell holds a news conference following a two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting in Washington, U.S., September 26, 2018.

During an event earlier Wednesday amid the sell-off, Trump and his top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said they believed the American economy was robust.

"I find myself in general agreement with Trump on his criticism of the Fed, which is that raising interest rates now doesn't seem necessary", Moore said.

"The fundamentals of the U.S. economy continue to be extremely strong". And tech stocks got hit particularly hard.

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