Policy makers at the Federal Reserve remain focused on gradually raising interest rates in response to strength in the US economy and low unemployment, according to minutes of their September meeting released Wednesday.
FBN's Jennifer Schonberger gives a summary of the Federal Reserve's minutes from its September meeting.
At 0640 GMT the rand was 0.26% weaker at R14.2900 per dollar, having risen to R14.1050, its best since 1 October, as the NY session kicked off before the release of the Fed minutes breathed life back into the greenback rally.
Participants in the FOMC rate-setting committee "generally anticipated that further gradual increases" in short-term borrowing costs would be consistent with the kind of continued economic expansion, labor market strength, and firm inflation that most anticipated, the minutes showed. U.S. Treasury yields were little changed. The dollar also rose. Trump has accused the Fed of endangering the country's economic health, this week saying the central bank is his "biggest threat" and last week calling the central bank "crazy", "loco", "ridiculous", and "too cute". Mnuchin said Trump's complaints simply reflected his preference for low interest rates.
Trump said he doesn't speak with Chairman Jerome Powell because of the Fed's political independence but said. The central bank has raised its key policy rate three times this year and is expected to do so again before year's end.
FILE PHOTO: A jogger runs past the Federal Reserve building in Washington, DC, U.S., August 22, 2018.
Still, a "couple" of participants said they would oppose this unless clear danger signs - an overheating economy and mounting inflation - were to arise. The display of solidarity raises the prospect of a fourth rate-hike this year in December. Critics have expressed concern that his continual attacks on the Fed, which began in the summer, threaten its need to operate free of political pressure from the White House or elsewhere to properly manage interest rate policy.
In the minutes, policymakers said estimates of the neutral rate would only be "one among many" factors going into monetary policy decisions.
During the meeting, which was held on September 25-26 policymakers said they believed further rates rises were required to stop inflation from shooting the 2pc inflation target and to reduce the risk "posed by significant financial imbalances".