NZ dollar rides higher on Powell's dovish testimony

Gold and Metals Rally as Fed's Powell Hints a Rate Cut in July

Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.2% to 28,539.74 while the Shanghai Composite index added 0.3% to 2,924.85.

Federal Reserve officials in fact marked down their estimate of the longer-run policy rate to 2.5 per cent in June, from 2.8 per cent in March. Shares also rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

"Local equity markets are reveling in the best of both worlds this morning as local investors love nothing more than lower USA interest rates and a weaker US dollar", Stephen Innes of Vanguard Markets said in a commentary.

The Wall Street Journal reported that "the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite touched all-time highs, with the S&P briefly eclipsing the 3000 level for the first time" in intraday trading before subsiding ahead of the close.

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said "uncertainties about the outlook have increased in recent months". "Instead, these central banks move at a more glacial pace...if the Fed is going to get involved in trade wars, then it is highly likely that it will do so along the interest rate route".

ASB senior economist Mark Smith also picked annual inflation to "tick up" to 1.7%, and core inflation measures were expected to be clustered around, or slightly below, 2% year on year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3% to 26,860.20, while the Nasdaq climbed 0.7% to 8,202.53, a record.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks rebounded from a brief slide, gaining 0.2% to 1,565.05. "I think trade uncertainty is going to slow down global growth and that will feed back into the USA economy". Meanwhile, inflation has fallen farther from the Fed's target.

Trump has criticized Powell and his colleagues on a regular basis for nearly a full year - first calling on the Fed to stop, and then to reverse, its 2018 interest-rate increases. Bullard repeated his call for an interest rate cut, saying the Fed needs to nudge inflation expectations higher.

Multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein charged with sex trafficking
Former President Bill Clinton praised his intellect and philanthropic efforts and was a frequent flyer aboard his private jet. Those who voted to confirm Acosta in 2017 said they are concerned but have not demanded his resignation, POLITICO reported .

A quarter-point reduction on a $30,000 home equity line of credit would shave the monthly payment by $6.25, McBride says.

Trump has long insisted lower rates will help the US economy grow even faster.as he prepares to try and win re-election in 2020.

Powell is due to appear before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

Inflation data may continue to attract attention on Friday, as the Labor Department is scheduled to release its report on producer prices in June.

See live rates for the NZ-US $ below. While trade tensions have eased, the outcome of talks with China remains uncertain, and if they break down, the increased tariffs that follow could damage the economy.

Eric Winograd, senior USA economist at Alliance Bernstein, noted that both vehicles and apparel "had been negative for the last few months and so the bounce this month is more likely payback for previous weakness rather than the start of a new trend".

Brent crude oil, the global standard, added 15 cents to $67.16 per barrel.

The Japanese yen and the euro were near flat against the dollar.

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