Trump bashes Fed chief Powell in interview with Reuters

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A weaker USA dollar, which fell sharply this week after President Donald Trump criticised the Federal Reserve's interest rate rises, supported the rand's rally.

Trump said on Monday he was "not thrilled" with the Federal Reserve under his own appointee, Chairman Jerome Powell, for raising interest rates and said the U.S. central bank should do more to help him to boost the economy.

When asked if he believed in the Fed's independence, he refused to say yes, telling the reporter: "I believe in the Fed doing what's good for the country". "I'm not thrilled." Mr. Trump, in an interview, added "I should be given more help by the Fed" through more accomodative monetary policy.

Presidents have historically avoided commenting on Fed policies. The Trump administration has raised tariffs on imports from a range of countries, including China and members of the European Union, triggering retaliatory tariffs on USA exports.

Powell took over as Fed chairman in February and the bank has raised interest rates twice since his ascension.

Meanwhile, the chart above suggests that Dollars is now trending lower, having fallen from a high of 96.60 on August 15 to its current level close to 94.72 against a basket of other major currencies.

The Reserve Bank held its benchmark rate for a fifth meeting in a row in July but warned it was ready to tighten policy despite the weak economy in response to rising rand-driven inflationary pressures and offshore volatility.

On Monday, Mr Trump said he was "not thrilled" that...

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The president said that he was told by advisers that Powell liked "cheap money" before he chose him to run the Fed, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Beyond criticizing the Fed for raising rates, there's little Trump can do about it.

Trump since July has repeatedly criticised the Fed, an independent body that is not controlled by Congress or the president. Staff economists also "continued to assume that the projected decline in the unemployment rate would be attenuated by a greater-than-usual cyclical improvement in the labor force participation rate", the minutes said.

Donald Trump chose Jerome Powell a year ago to head the U.S. central bank, promoting a soft-spoken centrist to replace Janet Yellen.

"We're going to do our business in a way that's strictly non-political, without taking political issues into consideration, and that carries out the mandate Congress has given us", he said. He took on the job earlier this year; his term expires in 2021.

"Am I happy with my choice?"

The criticism comes after a private Republican fundraiser on Friday, during which Trump reportedly attacked Powell's interest-rate hikes.

After sliding to a two-year low of 15.70 last week as the Turkish crisis triggered a broad flight from emerging markets, the rand has regained some ground, advancing around 8% in the last seven days as the greenback's rally faltered.

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