Federal Reserve appears more cautious on interest rate hikes next year

However, market analyst Daniel Geltrude said that Powell's statement Wednesday that interest rates are "just under" where they need to be for a "neutral" impact on the economy is a "180" that Trump may have caused. Jerome Powell has said the Fed's key rate is "just below" neutral. Some noted the slowdown in business investment in the third quarter, pointing to "anecdotal evidence regarding higher tariffs and uncertainty about trade policy, slowing global demand, rising input costs, or higher interest rates" as possible reasons, according to the minutes.

Fed officials have indicated for some time that they plan to keep raising rates until they reach a "neutral" point, neither slowing down nor boosting economic growth. The fear of higher USA interest rates - fuelled by a surging economy - has been a key driver of a global equity sell-off over the past few months, while the dollar has soared as traders put cash into the United States looking for better, safer returns.

At the September meeting, the Fed signalled that it would likely raise rates one more time this year, and it projected three more rate hikes in 2019. The minutes show support for a fourth rate hike this year when the committee meets again, December 18-19, if the labor market and inflation continue as expected. By contrast, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose for a sixth straight session, gaining 0.4% to close out November with a almost 2% gain.

"I think [Trump] has gotten in [Jerome Powell's] head and he's made a difference".

Wall Street embraced the news with a rally for Treasuries and surge of more than 2 per cent for major US stock indexes.

In an interview this week with The Washington Post, Trump said he was not happy with Powell's support for further rate hikes.

The Dow was up 617.7 points, or 2.5 percent, to 25,366.43 at the end of trading Wednesday, marking its largest single-day gain since March 26.

And, when presidents do criticise the Fed, they only tend to do it once they have left office.

He said of Mr Greenspan, who had originally been appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1987: "I reappointed him and he disappointed me".

Those comments followed a series of public attacks on the chairman of the Fed, a position that, while appointed by the president, is supposed to enjoy political independence. But that meeting may stand out more for the fresh economic projections that policymakers will issue, providing a clearer view of how their perceptions of the economy and the proper path for rates may have changed in recent weeks.

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