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Asian Equities Fall as Trump Criticises Fed for Raising Interest Rates

Asian markets were mostly lower in morning trade

Investing.com – Asian markets were mostly lower in morning trade on Friday as U.S. President Donald Trump criticised the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates.

Trump said he is “not thrilled” with the Fed’s plan to raise rates four times this year and expressed concerns that the work he has done would be nullified.

Fed officials, including Chairman Jerome Powell, have raised interest rates twice this year so far and have pointed to two more before the end of 2018.

“I’m not thrilled,” Trump said in an interview with CNBC. “Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again. I don't really — I am not happy about it. But at the same time I’m letting them do what they feel is best.”

“But I don’t like all of this work that goes into doing what we’re doing,” Trump added.

Overnight, the U.S. markets reacted to his comments, with stocks, the dollar and Treasury yields all falling.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.5%, the S&P 500 edged down by 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite shed 0.4%.

The White House later said in a statement that Trump did not mean to influence the Fed’s decision-making process. "Of course the President respects the independence of the Fed. As he said he considers the Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell a very good man and that he is not interfering with Fed policy decisions,” the White House said in the statement. “The President’s views on interest rates are well known and his comments today are a reiteration of those long held positions, and public comments."

Asian markets also slipped amid Trump's criticism of the Federal Reserve. China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component were 0.1% and 0.4% lower respectively by 10:01PM ET (02:01 GMT). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also slipped 0.1%. The yuan was in focus as it fell to a one-year low after China weakened the Chinese currency’s daily fixing by the most in more than two years.

Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.4%, outperforming its regional peers, as the energy subindex led gains. Those gains were offset by steep losses in materials, which dropped after base metal prices took a hit overnight.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.3%.

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