Powell announces fresh tightening but stock markets close higher

The Federal Reserve is ready to raise interest rates further if necessary, “our goal is inflation of 2%”. The statements by Jerome Powell – from the central banker symposium in Jackson Hole – did not completely convince the markets, but the reaction was “double”. The European and American stock markets first pulled the handbrake, but then recovered somewhat, as if they had digested Powell’s words and were already looking beyond the next rate hike. Markets may have welcomed Powell’s clarification that “promises caution in deciding whether to tighten further or instead hold the reference rate steady and await further data.” Milan ends at +0.49%, London and Frankfurt at +0.07% and Paris at +0.21%. On Wall Street, which had fallen into the red, the stock markets are recovering. Following Powell’s words, the euro recorded another strong weakening against the dollar and slipped to 1.0789. A move that seems to indicate the markets’ “confusion” over the next central bank decisions: the wait now concerns Lagarde’s speech in Jackson Hole (at 9pm Italian time).

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