Jerome Powell

Investors seek clues from Fed minutes

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell
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Later today, investors and economists will be combing through the minutes from the US Federal Reserve July meeting when it voted to cut interest rates - the first reduction since 2008.

Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM, says that "investors are clamouring for some sorely-needed clarity on the Fed’s policy bias, given Fed chairman Jerome Powell’s convoluted guidance following the July meeting".

He also says there will be much focus on Mr Powell's speech on Friday at the Fed's annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He says: "Another fudged policy outlook from the Fed chair could trigger a further bout of volatility in the markets."

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We will be keeping an eye on the pound as Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel later on in Berlin where he is expected to again raise scrapping the Irish backstop element of the Brexit deal.

Market watchers will be eagerly anticipating the minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting when the rate-setting committee voted for the first cut since 2008.

This come ahead of a speech by Fed chairman Jerome Powell later this week at the central bank's Jackson Hole symposium.

And this morning the Office for National Statistics will release the latest UK public debt figures and the CBI will provide an update on how the retail sector is faring.

As always, we'd love to hear from you. Email Business Live at

All eyes on Powell

US Fed chairman Jerome Powell
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A key focus this week will be on a speech to be given by US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell on Friday at the Jackson Hole symposium.

Following a rate cut in July, the US Fed is expected to make another in September.

Elsa Lignos, global head of FX strategy at RBC Capital Markets, says: "Powell's speech will set the stage for, at the minimum, a 25 basis points rate cut at the September meeting, stressing that quantitative tightening is over and stressing that the committee's bias is now back in accommodation mode."

Trump criticism may be weighing on Fed

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Donald Trump and Jerome Powell
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Donald Trump appointed Jerome Powell as chairman of the Federal Reserve

Despite talk of recession, US economic data is pretty strong so why is the US Fed expected to make two more rate cuts?

Janus Henderson's Laura Foll reckons the US central bank is "responding to global events" such as the contraction in both the UK and German economy during the second quarter.

"Of course, it is really hard to know how much of an effect Trump is having," she adds.

The US President has published around 40 tweets criticising Fed chairman Jerome Powell or pushing for a rate cut.

Ms Foll says: "I don't think you can rule out the extreme pressure the Fed is under from Trump but it is really hard to know much of a direct knock on effect that is having on policy."

No more US rate cuts is 'the right approach'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

US Fed chairman Jerome Powell
US Fed chairman Jerome Powell

Late yesterday the US Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time since 2008.

Karen Ward, chief market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management, says that the US Fed's "calm and measured" approach to interest rates was the right way to go.

However, markets fell after Fed chairman Jerome Powell ruled out further rate cuts this year.

"There were a lot of expectations," says Ms Ward. "The market really likes low interest rates, really likes the idea of them stimulating the economy very aggressively but the economy just doesn't justify such aggressive action right now."

US interest rates: What does the cut really mean?
The BBC's Michelle Fleury explains how the Federal Reserve's decision, the first one in a decade, will affect everyday life.

'US Fed must shut Trump accusations down'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

US President Donald Trump and US Fed chairman Jerome Powell
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The US Fed - and its chairman Jerome Powell - have been subject to sustained attacks by President Donald Trump who wants deep interest rate cuts.

Is the expected rate reduction happening because of pressure from Mr Trump?

Donald Kohn, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and former vice chairman of the US Fed, says that in order for the Fed to rebuff speculation it is bending to political pressure: "They need to be very, very clear in their reasoning, in their rationale, in their communication that there are some very very good economic reasons for doing what they are doing."

He says: "I think it would be a bad outcome if the Federal Reserve thought it was necessary to promote its legislative goals of maximum employment and stable prices to cut rates and then didn't do it because someone might accuse them of giving in to the President.

"So they've got to shut that noise out and do the right thing and explain it."

Trump calls for 'large cut' in rates

fed logo
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Here are the quotes from Donald Trump, speaking outside the White House, about the US Federal Reserve.

"I would like to see a large cut and I'd like to see immediately the quantitative tightening stop.

"I'm very disappointed in the Fed. I think they acted too quickly by far, and I think I've been proven right ... The Fed is often wrong".

Asia markets rise on Fed boost

An investor watches an electronic ticker board displaying stock figures at a stock exchange hall on July 8, 2019 in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province of China.
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Asian markets rose across indices on Thursday, boosted by US Fed chairman Jerome Powell apparent hint that an interest rate cut is imminent.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.52% to 21,645.45.

In China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 1.2% to 28,534.66 while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.3%.

Good morning!

Welcome to Business Live.

Today, the French government will decide whether to go ahead with its Digital Services Tax on US search giant Google.

It has already provoked the ire of "tariff man", AKA US president Donald Trump who has ordered an investigation into the move.

We'll be keeping an eye on the markets, especially after US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell appeared to firm up the chances of an interest rate cut.

As always, we'd love to hear from you. Email us at