Overseas Headlines- Februay 23, 2017


Many Fed Officials See Rate Hike ‘Fairly Soon,’ Minutes Show
Federal Reserve officials expressed confidence they can raise interest rates gradually, while a hike “fairly soon” might be appropriate to avoid the risk of an overheated economy, minutes of Federal Open Market Committee’s latest meeting showed. “Many participants expressed the view that it might be appropriate to raise the federal funds rate again fairly soon if incoming information on the labour market and inflation was in line with or stronger than their current expectations or if the risks of overshooting the committee’s maximum-employment and inflation objectives increased,” the minutes released Wednesday in Washington said.


Europe’s recovery still fragile: ECB’s Praet
Europe’s economic recovery remains fragile, leaving little room for complacency, with risks exacerbated by political uncertainty before key elections, European Central Bank chief economist Peter Praet said on Thursday. Although recent indicators from PMI figures to confidence have surprised on the upside, Praet warned that the recovery was dependent on substantial support from the ECB. With growth picking up pace, conservative policymakers have argued for some form of monetary tightening, a call so far resisted by the Governing Council. "Despite the resilient recovery in the euro area, and strong indicators of confidence across all sectors, measures of political and policy uncertainty have been rising recently, although asset markets are not significantly pricing in tail risks," Praet said in London.


China monetary policy to prevent asset bubbles, contain debt risks -c.bank
China’s monetary policy this year will contain risks posed by debt, prevent asset bubbles and keep economic growth on track, the central bank’s chief economist said on Thursday. In December, Chinese leaders pledged monetary policy would be "prudent and neutral" in 2017, as they looked for a path of stable and healthy growth. Ma Jun, chief economist at the People’s Bank of China, said that policy would "prevent rapid rises in leverage ratios and avoid asset bubbles, under the premise of maintaining reasonable economic growth and basically stable inflation", according to a transcript seen by Reuters of a speech made in Singapore. The central bank recently moved to raise short-term interest rates to help rein in debt risks.