Fed policymakers closer to rate hike, but inflation doubts remain - minutes | Reuters
By Lindsay Dunsmuir and Jason Lange | WASHINGTON WASHINGTON Several voting Federal Reserve policymakers judged a rate hike would be warranted 'relatively soon' if the U.S.
By Lindsay Dunsmuir and Jason Lange
WASHINGTON Several voting Federal Reserve policymakers judged a rate hike would be warranted "relatively soon" if the U.S. economy continued to strengthen, according to the minutes of the Fed's September policy meeting released on Wednesday.The minutes of the Sept. 20-21 meeting, at which the U.S. central bank held rates steady, also showed the depth of the divide at the Fed over timing."Several members judged that it would be appropriate to increase the target range for the federal funds rate relatively soon if economic developments unfolded about as...expected," the Fed said in the minutes.Seventeen policymakers participated at the September policy meeting, of whom 10 had a vote. In the minutes, both voting members and the wider group were divided on how much longer they should allow the labour market and inflation to improve before raising rates.The minutes also said "it was noted that a reasonable argument could be made either for an increase at this meeting or for waiting for some additional information on the labour market and inflation."U.S. stocks rose slightly following the release of the minutes, while yields on U.S. government debt pared earlier gains.
Three voting members of the rate-setting committee dissented in the September policy statement in favour of an immediate hike, the first time since 2011 that so many have taken such action in the same direction at a single meeting. In that policy statement, the Fed incorporated new phrasing saying it would maintain current interest rate levels for "the time being," widely seen as a hawkish signal.According to the minutes, however, a few voting members were concerned the inclusion of the phrase "might be misread as indicating that the passage of time rather than the accumulation of evidence" would drive future decisionmaking.
Although Fed policymakers disagree on whether the current 1.7 percent inflation rate is sufficiently close to their 2 percent objective, many voting members remarked that "there were few signs of emerging inflationary pressures."Since the meeting, Chair Janet Yellen and several other Fed policymakers have said they expect a rate hike by year-end should the labour market and inflation continue to strengthen.New York Fed President William Dudley said earlier on Wednesday the Fed could afford to be "gentle" in raising rates as the U.S. economy has "plenty of room to run."
Almost all agree that after another rate hike, the path of interest rates will be much shallower than the Fed's last tightening cycle.Last Friday's monthly jobs report for September showed that while employment gains are slowing, they are still well above the level required to offset population growth.There are two more meetings scheduled this year, on Nov. 1-2 and Dec. 13-14. Traders have all but ruled out a move at the meeting that takes place just a week before the U.S. presidential election. They currently see about a 66 percent probability the Fed will raise rates in December, according to data from CME Group.Yellen is scheduled to deliver a speech on Friday in Boston, which may offer insight into the Fed's latest thinking. (Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir and Jason Lange; Editing by Andrea Ricci)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
ISTANBUL Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan discussed the war in Syria with Russia's Vladimir Putin on Monday, including Turkey's military operations there and the need to cooperate on aid to Aleppo.At a joint news conference after a meeting in Istanbul, Erdogan and Putin said they both agreed on the importance of delivering aid to Aleppo, whose opposition-held eastern sector has been encircled by Russian-backed Syrian forces for all but a short period since July."We have a common position that everything must be done to deliver humanitarian aid to Aleppo.
By Se Young Lee | SEOUL SEOUL Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) halted sales of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones on Tuesday and told owners to stop using them while it investigates reports of fires, fuelling expectations the tech giant will scrap the flagship device.Top U.S. and Australian carriers on Monday suspended sales or exchanges of the Note 7s, while major airlines reiterated bans on passengers using the phones, after smoke from a replacement device forced the evacuation of a passenger plane in the United States last week.The world's top smartphone maker said it had asked all global carriers to stop sales of the Note 7s and the exchange of original devices for replacements, while it worked with regulators to investigate the problem."Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note 7 or replacement Galaxy Note 7 device should power down and stop using the device," the company said in statement. Samsung's decision to pull Note 7s off the shelves for the second time in less than two months underscores the South Korean firm's struggles to fix the over-heating issue.The premium device launched in August was supposed to compete with Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) latest iPhone for supremacy in the smartphone market
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