US Treasury secretary: Economy strong, stock drop a 'natural correction'

After a long stretch of relative calm the stock market has suffered sharp losses over the last week

In the last few weeks and months, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates incrementally despite the better judgment of many USA entrepreneurs.

So, no, the rout wasn't caused by growing worry over Trump's trade wars, which the International Monetary Fund cited in cutting its outlook for global growth on Tuesday.

Trump's remarks to reporters were in direct response to questions about the stock market drop. Interest rates take an upward push as the greenback gets stronger and people are certainly not pleased by that, the president said.

Well, take that for what it's worth.

President Donald Trump renewed his attacks on the USA central bank on Thursday, saying it was "too aggressive" in raising interest rates.

Now, explaining market actions through psychology is probably as much a mug's game as psychoanalyzing a Fed chair from afar.

US gold futures gained 1.1 percent to reach $1,206.20 an ounce. He likes low interest rates. All that has had an impact on bond markets, in the form of a selloff and correspondingly rising yields.

The Dow Jones index on Thursday fell 546 points, or 2.1 percent, to 25,053, the S&P 500 slid 2 percent, and the Nasdaq dropped 1.25 percent. But Bush's complaint about the Fed came years after he had left office.

But data since the Fed's last meeting in September has been in line with the central bank's portrait of an economy in which historically low unemployment will be coupled with inflation running near the central bank's 2 percent target for the foreseeable future.

"I think they're making a big mistake", Trump said on Fox & Friends.

This all makes sense, but it might be based on some questionable assumptions.

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Higher deficits lead to a lower US dollar. I'm not so sure.

Bonds getting issued today are paying investors more handsomely than those issued a year ago.

In the face of the repeated attacks, Mr Powell said central bankers did not pay attention and are "quite removed from the political process".

In companies news high street retailer WH Smith reported full year profits that missed expectations, coming in at £134m with high street sales the underperformer as like for like sales declined 3%.

The Dow tumbled 546 points (2.1 per cent) on Thursday amid heavy selling. Or too low? Are economic risks lurking?

Trump on Thursday also indicated that the Fed's policies were harming him personally.

The strangest anomaly to this governmental economic interference is the fact that the Fed actually has artificially increased inflation.

With growth accelerating, demand for credit typically also increases. Deflating that figure by the 2.3 percent rise in consumer prices for the 12 months through September shows investors earning minus 0.35 percent on their savings after inflation.

It was his second broadside against the U.S. central bank in the last 24 hours, following a sell-off on Wall Street partly attributed to investors fully adjusting to the central bank's steady rate increases, and an uptick in particular in yields on long-term U.S. Treasury bonds that are an important, more secure alternative to stock investments.

In Asia stock markets braced themselves for another day of losses. This has been a long neglected area for WH Smith management who appear to be more focussed an expanding the travel and worldwide side of the business, having opened new overseas stores in Madrid and Rio de Janeiro airports. But hey, what does he know?

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