Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches 27,000 for the first time ever

Gold Focused on Speeches Powell and Bostic to Set the Tone

How is lowering short-term interest rates from 2.5% to 2.25% in the US going to have any impact? The S&P 500 index briefly traded over 3,000 for the first time.

Brushing off criticism from President Trump, Powell hinted there may be scope for an imminent cut to United States interest rates when he addressed the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.

Asked if he believed the president had the authority to fire him, he said, "What I've said is that the law clearly gives me a four-year term and I intend to serve it".

The Pound to New Zealand Dollar (GBP/NZD) exchange rate mostly followed the same path as GBP/AUD on Wednesday, with the "Kiwi" jumping in the afternoon on the back of Powell's dovish comments before stabilising overnight as risk appetite slipped.

Rising inflation doesn't bode well for the interest rate cut the market is hoping for.

"I don't think it's changed anything". "Powell wants to provide fuel for the economy down the road". The current Fed rate is set at 2.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

Elsewhere, the World Gold Council said on Tuesday that holdings in global gold-backed ETFs and similar products registered their largest monthly increase in seven years in June as investors priced in a new round of easing from central banks. The Fed Chair strongly hinted that he was ready to cut interest rates in order to boost the American economy, which was facing major global trade headwinds, and dealing with low inflation levels.

Powell said the Fed stands ready to "act as appropriate" to support record usa economic growth now under threat.

Powell also brushed aside President Trump's recent criticisms of his leadership of the Fed, . saying he wouldn't resign, . even if Trump demanded he go. "But the Fed tends to operate on trends, not data points". But later, in the question-and-answer period, Democratic members of the House Financial Services Committee made clear their discontent with Trump's attacks. The Federal Reserve Act allows for Fed governors to be removed - but only "for cause" and not policy differences.

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"Have no fear", Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., told the chairman.

In the first of two testimonies on successive days, Powell said "broad" global weakness is clouding the USA economic outlook.

Looking ahead...Powell takes his talents to the Senate Banking Committee this morning.

At the moment, the USA economic landscape is a mixed one: The job market appears resilient, but economic growth is slowing.

If it happens, it will be the Fed's first cut in a decade.

The lack of progress in Washington suggests that the (healthcare) industry will face ongoing political pressure, including legislative risk, Morgan Stanley analyst David Risinger said.

The Fed hasn't cut rates since 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.

While China-U.S. trade tensions have calmed with a resumption of talks by phone between top envoys, friction with France looms after President Donald Trump's administration launched an investigation into French plans for a special tax targeting big tech companies.

Yet, some market participants have scaled back expectations that a July cut is nearly a certainty after a 224,000-strong jobs growth in June signaled the economy may be too strong for an easing.

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