Further US rate hikes 'most likely' needed: Fed minutes

Further US rate hikes 'most likely' needed: Fed minutes

Every policymaker backed the Fed's September rate increase, according to the minutes of the Sept. 25-26 meeting, published Wednesday.

The minutes from the Fed's September 25-26 meeting showed every Fed policymaker backed raising interest rates last month and also generally agreed borrowing costs were set to rise further, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's view that the tightenings have already gone too far.

But, amid brisk American expansion, some Fed policymakers also warned of looming dangers to the world economy, such as the potential for a strengthening United States dollar and possible contagion from sputtering emerging markets, according to minutes from the Fed's most recent meeting three weeks ago.

The recent increase in interest rates has spooked investors who fear higher borrowing costs could slow down the economy. But others argued against stronger tightening of monetary policy without "clear signs" the economy is running hot.

The dollar index, which measures its value against six major peers, last traded at 95.654, little changed on the day, while 10 year Treasury yield last stood at 3.211 percent, 3.2 basis points higher than the USA close.

The US dollar index and Treasury yields rose to its highest levels in a week on Wednesday.

President Trump has recently renewed criticism of the Fed and its interest rate hikes.

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Trump said he doesn't speak with Chairman Jerome Powell because of the Fed's political independence but said.

"The continued risk of a fresh bout of weakness (in the yuan) can not be ignored" with U.S. Treasury yields beginning to creep higher again, Trump hinting at further tariffs on Chinese goods and the Chinese stocks hitting a multi-year lows, said Simon Derrick, chief currency strategist at BNY Mellon.

According to the minutes: "A few participants expected that policy would need to become modestly restrictive for a time and a number judged that it would be necessary to temporarily raise the federal funds rate above their assessments of its longer-run level". The next rate rise could come as soon as December. Traders of futures contracts tied to the Fed's policy rate see rates topping out at about 3 percent.

He also criticized the Fed last week after the stock market's selloff, telling reporters the central bank had "gone crazy" and is "out of control".

Raising rates is the Fed's way of lowering the risk of runaway inflation, which happens when competition for labor and a shortage of goods in a fast-growing economy leads to big increases in wages and prices.

The minutes showed that "almost all" policymakers agreed it was time to remove that language.

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