Published: Fri, July 14, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Janet Yellen is driving me insane

Janet Yellen is driving me insane

Low inflation remains a concern for U.S. economy, USA federal reserve chairman Janet Yellen warned on Wednesday, despite delivering an upbeat assessment of the United States economy.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.90 percent while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading regional shares rose 1.64 percent and emerging market stocks rose 1.10 percent.

Overall consumer prices, as measured by the price index, increased 1.4 percent over 12 months through May, up from about 1 percent a year ago but a little lower than earlier this year.

The Fed has faced criticism for raising interest rates so quickly amid stubbornly low inflation, which now hovers at 1.4 percent, against the bank's two percent target rate.

The Fed Chair believes that the current level of interest rates is not far from a neutral policy stance and hence rates would not have to rise "all that much". "However, the market jumped on her views on inflation", ANZ Bank New Zealand senior economist Philip Borkin.

In the banking space, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, ANZ Banking and Westpac are higher in a range of 0.6 percent to 0.8 percent.

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Thursday said the central bank would consider the bond market yield curve as it slowly reduces its $4.5 trillion balance sheet, which it had used to help stimulate the economy.

In what she acknowledged could be her last appearance before Congress Ms Yellen predicted that the USA economy would continue to grow over the next few years, allowing the central bank to continue raising interest rates. Providing the most support was a strong performance in the retail sector, mostly led by a 4.8 percent gain in shares of Target stock.

Among oil stocks, Santos is rising 0.7 percent, while Oil Search and Woodside Petroleum are advancing more than 1 percent each after crude oil prices advanced more than 1 percent overnight. Some argue that China's producer prices are just as important for the course of U.S. inflation as anything else, given the countries' close trading relationship.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.27 percent to close at a preliminary 1,518.69. The Aussie was on track to rise 1.7 per cent on the week, lifted by an improvement in broader investor risk appetite thanks to hopes for a more gradual tightening schedule by the Fed and rise in prices of commodities, notably iron ore.

Yellen testified before Congress, saying that the Fed would back off its plan of gradually raising interest rates if weak inflation proved a bigger problem.

Having kept interest rates at a historically low 0.25 percent for seven years after the financial crisis, Yellen began hiking the key rate last December, and two further increases have followed.

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