Trump again hits Fed on rate rises; says U.S. firms present buying opportunity
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated that the U.S.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Tuesday reiterated that the U.S. Federal Reserve was raising interest rates too quickly but added that U.S. companies were "the greatest in the world" and presented a "tremendous" buying opportunity for investors.
"They're raising interest rates too fast because they think the economy is so good. But I think that they will get it pretty soon," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, referring to the U.S. central bank.
"I have great confidence in our companies. We have companies, the greatest in the world, and they're doing really well. They have record kinds of numbers. So I think it's a tremendous opportunity to buy," Trump said after speaking with U.S. troops deployed abroad via video conference.
U.S. stocks have dropped sharply in recent weeks on concerns over weaker economic growth. Trump has largely laid the blame for economic headwinds on the Fed, openly criticizing its chairman, Jerome Powell, whom he appointed.
Media reports have suggested Trump has gone as far as discussing firing Powell, and he told Reuters in August that he was "not thrilled" with the chairman.
On Monday, Trump said "The only problem our economy has is the Fed."
All three major U.S. stock indexes ended down more than 2 percent on the day before the Christmas holiday. The S&P 500 has lost about 19.8 percent from its Sept. 20 closing high, just shy of the 20 percent threshold that commonly defines a bear market.
The Fed hiked interest rates again last week, as had been widely expected.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday hosted a call with the president's Working Group on Financial Markets, a body known colloquially as the "Plunge Protection team," which normally convenes only during times of heavy market volatility.
But the call did more to rattle markets than to assure them. Regulators on the call said they were not seeing anything out of the ordinary in financial markets during the recent selloff, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
(Reporting by Makini Brice; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Dan Grebler)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.