Strong US jobs growth makes 'mockery' of market fears

Jerome Powell

Modal Trigger Jerome Powell AFP Getty Images

The Fed is "prepared to adjust policy quickly and flexibly" to support the economy, he added.

The data come amid debate on whether the US Federal Reserve has been too aggressive in hiking interest rates and should back off in 2019.

The Labour Department reported Friday that United States employers added a net 312,000 new positions in December, smashing economists' expectations. It marked the ninth time the Fed has raised interest rates since 2015.

DXY's up move to the 96.60 region, or session highs, is now an ephemeral memory as a outcome of the dovish tone from Chief Powell's speech at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association.

In response to questions, Powell also signaled a willingness to include changes to the Fed's gradual run-off of its balance-sheet in any review of monetary policy.

Apple shares tumble as firm blames sales slump on China slowdown
In a note to investors, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, revealed that the company was revising its estimates for end-of-year income. But he said then that he "would not put China in that category" of countries with troubled growth.

The commander-in-chief has also ripped the Fed on Twitter and in interviews.

He also defended his independence, saying he would not resign if requested Donald Trump asked.

Powell had been sitting next to former Federal Reserve chairmen Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke when he was asked about his impending meetings with the President regarding Fed policy, which the President has emphasized in the past as the number one problem with the economy. "Meetings between the presidents and the Fed chairs do happen", he said.

Markets have gyrated in recent months and manufacturing gauges have slowed as weakening global growth and a trade spat between the US and China deepen uncertainty. American presidents of the past quarter-century have kept private their opinions about Fed policy so the Fed can focus on employment and inflation rather than feel pressure from the short-term wishes of politicians. USA nonfarm payrolls increased by 312,000 in December, easily topping all forecasts. And the jobless rate rose from a five-decade low to 3.9 per cent, reflecting more people actively seeking work.

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