August 7, 2019 / 1:06 PM / a month ago

Trump says U.S. Federal Reserve 'too proud to admit mistake'

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the shootings in El Paso and Dayton in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., August 5, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the U.S. Federal Reserve must cut rates “bigger and faster” for the United States to be competitive against other countries.

“Our problem is a Federal Reserve that is too proud to admit their mistake of acting too fast and tightening too much (and that I was right!). They must Cut Rates bigger and faster, and stop their ridiculous quantitative tightening NOW,” Trump said in a series of Twitter posts.

The Republican president has, for months, been calling on Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Fed policymakers to lower interest rates to support the U.S. economy.

His surprise move last week to impose new tariffs here on Chinese imports has thrown the Federal Reserve another curveball that may force it to cut rates more than the central bank had hoped was necessary to protect the economy from trade-policy risks.

Last week, Fed policymakers cut interest rates for the first time since 2008. Financial markets had widely expected the Fed to reduce its key overnight lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a target range of 2.00% to 2.25%, but many traders expected clearer confirmation of forthcoming rate cuts.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Monday urged the Fed to cut key rates by another three-quarters of a point to a full point by the end of the year to bring U.S. rates in line with rates elsewhere.

Traders raised bets that the Federal Reserve would cut key borrowing costs three more times by year-end to combat rising recession risks due to trade tensions and softening global demand.

Federal funds futures implied traders were fully positioned for the U.S. central bank to cut rates at its Sept. 17-18 policy meeting, with a 28% chance it might lower them by half a point, according to CME Group’s FedWatch program.

The fed funds contract suggested there was an 83% likelihood the Fed may follow a possible September cut with a quarter-point rate decrease in October. The fed funds complex implied traders see a 53% probability the Fed may cut rates by another 25 basis points in addition to possible rate cuts in September and October.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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