Trump says market drop is 'correction that we've been waiting for'

Those financial crisis-inspired programmes - such as quantitative easing - are now ending and the Fed has raised United States interest rates three times already this year - raising borrowing costs - and could add a fourth hike by the end of 2018.

Most economists consider a reputation for independence essential for maintaining a central bank's credibility with investors that it will guard against inflation. "It's so tight. I think the Fed has gone insane", the U.S. president said. Indeed depressed long-term rates had led some Fed officials to worry that short-term rates might rise above them and cause the sort of bond yield "inversion" that precedes recession. "The problem in my opinion is the Fed, " he added.

Kevin Hassett, the head of Trump's Council of Economic Advisers, said the president is expressing his views on monetary policy, but he isn't trying to "politicize" the Fed.

"I don't think it's that at all", he said.

Even so, the market tumble may capture the tone of the Bali talks, where policy makers are increasingly focused on the risks to global growth amid escalating trade tensions and the Fed's embrace of higher interest rates.

"It seems like the Fed is continuing on the course that markets expect, to raise interest rates given the tight labour market", said Phillip Swagel, who was a top Treasury official during the George W. Bush administration. "But I think the Fed is far too stringent, and they're making a mistake, and it's not right". Both have suffered sharp losses in recent days as investors have cashed in gains. The Fed is an independent body and presidents in recent decades have avoided commenting publicly on its actions.

USA stocks gained ground after the inflation report but then headed lower again after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC that no new negotiations have been set with China to reduce trade tensions between the world's two largest economies. "He has never interfered with that". The S&P 500 fell 94.66 points, or 3.3 per cent, to 2,785.68, touching a three-month low. The S&P 500 remained near the lowest since July on Thursday morning, while the Nasdaq 100 rallied.

"The trade war with China, we're taking in billions of dollars in tariffs from China, from Chinese goods, and it hasn't hurt us at all". The IMF projections don't take into account Trump's threat to expand the tariffs to effectively all of the more than $500 billion in goods the US bought from China a year ago.

The unemployment rate in September dipped to 3.7 percent, a level not seen in almost half a century, while an inflation report on Thursday indicated the pace of price increases remained under control around the Fed's target. The president is not dictating policy to the Fed.

Ivan Feinseth, Chief Investment Officer at Tigress Financial Partners, said that although the sell-off caught him off-guard, he thought many investors were unduly frightened by the prospect of rising rates.

But, crucially, the higher long-term interest rates don't seem to be driven by expectations that inflation will soar higher.

Vanessa Coleman

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