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People take pictures of paramilitary officers marching in formation in Tiananmen Square in Beijing
People take pictures of paramilitary officers marching in formation in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

May 26, 2019

By Cate Cadell

BEIJING (Reuters) – It’s the most sensitive day of the year for China’s internet, the anniversary of the bloody June 4 crackdown on pro-democracy protests at Tiananmen Square, and with under two weeks to go, China’s robot censors are working overtime.

Censors at Chinese internet companies say tools to detect and block content related to the 1989 crackdown have reached unprecedented levels of accuracy, aided by machine learning and voice and image recognition.

“We sometimes say that the artificial intelligence is a scalpel, and a human is a machete,” said one content screening employee at Beijing Bytedance Co Ltd, who asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to media.

Two employees at the firm said censorship of the Tiananmen crackdown, along with other highly sensitive issues including Taiwan and Tibet, is now largely automated.

Posts that allude to dates, images and names associated with the protests are automatically rejected.

“When I first began this kind of work four years ago there was opportunity to remove the images of Tiananmen, but now the artificial intelligence is very accurate,” one of the people said.

Four censors, working across Bytedance, Weibo Corp and Baidu Inc apps said they censor between 5,000-10,000 pieces of information a day, or five to seven pieces a minute, most of which they said were pornographic or violent content.

Despite advances in AI censorship, current-day tourist snaps in the square are sometimes unintentionally blocked, one of the censors said.

Bytedance declined to comment, while Weibo and Baidu did not respond to requests for comment.

SENSITIVE PERIOD

The Tiananmen crackdown is a taboo subject in China 30 years after the government sent tanks to quell student-led protests calling for democratic reforms. Beijing has never released a death toll but estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand.

June 4th itself is marked by a cat-and-mouse game as people use more and more obscure references on social media sites, with obvious allusions blocked immediately. In some years, even the word “today” has been scrubbed.

In 2012, China’s most-watched stock index fell 64.89 points on the anniversary day https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-stocks-tiananmen-idUSBRE8530F720120604, echoing the date of the original event in what analysts said was likely a strange coincidence rather than a deliberate reference.

Still, censors blocked access to the term “Shanghai stock market” and to the index numbers themselves on microblogs, along with other obscure references to sensitive issues.

While companies censorship tools are becoming more refined, analysts, academics and users say heavy-handed policies mean sensitive periods before anniversaries and political events have become catch-alls for a wide range of sensitive content.

In the lead-up to this year’s Tiananmen Square anniversary, censorship on social media has targeted LGBT groups, labor and environment activists and NGOs, they say.

Upgrades to censorship tech have been urged on by new policies introduced by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). The group was set up – and officially led – by President Xi Jinping, whose tenure has been defined by increasingly strict ideological control of the internet.

The CAC did not respond to a request for comment.

Last November, the CAC introduced new rules aimed at quashing dissent online in China, where “falsifying the history of the Communist Party” on the internet is a punishable offence for both platforms and individuals.

The new rules require assessment reports and site visits for any internet platform that could be used to “socially mobilize” or lead to “major changes in public opinion”, including access to real names, network addresses, times of use, chat logs and call logs.

One official who works for CAC told Reuters the recent boost in online censorship is “very likely” linked to the upcoming anniversary.

“There is constant communication with the companies during this time,” said the official, who declined to directly talk about the Tiananmen, instead referring to the “the sensitive period in June”.

Companies, which are largely responsible for their own censorship, receive little in the way of directives from the CAC, but are responsible for creating guidelines in their own “internal ethical and party units”, the official said.

SECRET FACTS

With Xi’s tightening grip on the internet, the flow of information has been centralized under the Communist Party’s Propaganda Department and state media network. Censors and company staff say this reduces the pressure of censoring some events, including major political news, natural disasters and diplomatic visits.

“When it comes to news, the rule is simple… If it is not from state media first, it is not authorized, especially regarding the leaders and political items,” said one Baidu staffer.

“We have a basic list of keywords which include the 1989 details, but (AI) can more easily select those.”

Punishment for failing to properly censor content can be severe.

In the past six weeks, popular services including a Netease Inc news app, Tencent Holdings Ltd’s news app TianTian, and Sina Corp have all been hit with suspensions ranging from days to weeks, according to the CAC, meaning services are made temporarily unavailable on apps stores and online.

For internet users and activists, penalties can range from fines to jail time for spreading information about sensitive events online.

In China, social media accounts are linked to real names and national ID numbers by law, and companies are legally compelled to offer user information to authorities when requested.

“It has become normal to know things and also understand that they can’t be shared,” said one user, Andrew Hu. “They’re secret facts.”

In 2015, Hu spent three days in detention in his home region of Inner Mongolia after posting a comment about air pollution onto an unrelated image that alluded to the Tiananmen crackdown on Twitter-like social media site Weibo.

Hu, who declined to use his full Chinese name to avoid further run-ins with the law, said when police officers came to his parents house while he was on leave from his job in Beijing he was surprised, but not frightened.

“The responsible authorities and the internet users are equally confused,” said Hu. “Even if the enforcement is irregular, they know the simple option is to increase pressure.”

(Reporting by Cate Cadell. Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

Source: OANN

Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

May 24, 2019

By Sinéad Carew

(Reuters) – The escalating U.S.-China trade war has sent dividend-rich sectors like utilities higher, but investors don’t need to get all defensive just yet, according to strategists who say there are plenty of growth stocks with some insulation from China.

Some investors are seeking safety in domestic U.S. growth stocks ranging from software and online advertising to aerospace and recruitment since President Donald Trump’s May 5 tweets showed that U.S. talks with China were in trouble.

While the prospect of a prolonged trade war has shaken the market, investors are also trying to protect themselves from the risk that they could miss out on gains in the event that the United States and China reach a surprise agreement.

Because of the difficulty handicapping the chance of a U.S.-China deal, John Praveen Portfolio Manager at QMA in Newark, New Jersey, said he would not “completely sell out” of stocks. But he said: “if I was 5% overweight stocks, I might reduce it to 3 pct and see if I could reduce exposure to semiconductors and technology.”

“If you’re looking to avoid the pure dividend play and avoid the China trade narrative, you have to look at stocks that are a pure play on the U.S. economy,” said Peter Kenny, founder, Kenny’s Commentary LLC in New York.

Broadly speaking, investors have been raising their defenses. While the S&P has fallen roughly 4% since Trump announced his plan to raise tariffs on Chinese goods in early May, utilities – a low-growth sector with reliably high dividends – has risen more than 2%.

But growth-hungry investors are seeking more nimble companies with little exposure to overseas sales or Chinese imports even in the beaten down technology sector, where semiconductor stocks have lead the recent declines.

Online advertising platforms and cloud software are two technology segments that would not be directly affected by China tariffs, according to Daniel Morgan, portfolio manager at Synovus Trust in Atlanta.

In online advertising, Morgan favors Twitter, Facebook and Snap Inc over Google parent Alphabet, which suspended business with China’s Huawei this week as a result of the trade battle.

He also likes software providers such as Salesforce.com, which derives 70% of its revenue from the Americas and only 10% from Asia-Pacific. However, Salesforce.com has fallen more than 5% since the Trump tweets.

Another option is Workday Inc, which has risen about 4% since May 5 and derives 75% of its revenue from the United States.

Steve Lipper, senior investment strategist at Royce & Associates favors U.S.-facing companies offering services such as recruiting and merger advice due to a strong U.S. labor market and solid merger activity.

But while U.S.-facing recruitment firms such as Kforce and ASGN Inc may not be hurt directly by the trade war, Robert W. Baird analyst Mark Marcon notes that they would suffer if tariffs caused the economy to weaken.

Instead, Marcon favors domestic payroll software companies such as Automatic Data Processing Inc and Paychex Inc, which tend to do better than recruiters in a downturn. But even if their fundamentals remain strong, payroll companies like Paycom and Paylocity could be vulnerable in a selloff due to relatively high valuations, Marcon said.

In industrials – a sector with heavy exposure to China – Burns McKinney, a portfolio manager at Allianz Global Investors in Dallas likes defense stocks such as Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, which could benefit if U.S.-Iran hostilities keep intensifying.

Since sectors like utilities have risen so much, Royce’s Lipper is favoring less obvious safe choices.

“Be wary when the consensus view is already reflected in valuations,” said Lipper, but he added: “The U.S. economy is so diverse that there are always areas that are insulated from whatever you have a concern about.”

(Reporting By Sinéad Carew; Editing by Alden Bentley and Nick Zieminski)

Source: OANN

Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

May 24, 2019

By Sinéad Carew

(Reuters) – The escalating U.S.-China trade war has sent dividend-rich sectors like utilities higher, but investors don’t need to get all defensive just yet, according to strategists who say there are plenty of growth stocks with some insulation from China.

Some investors are seeking safety in domestic U.S. growth stocks ranging from software and online advertising to aerospace and recruitment since President Donald Trump’s May 5 tweets showed that U.S. talks with China were in trouble.

While the prospect of a prolonged trade war has shaken the market, investors are also trying to protect themselves from the risk that they could miss out on gains in the event that the United States and China reach a surprise agreement.

Because of the difficulty handicapping the chance of a U.S.-China deal, John Praveen Portfolio Manager at QMA in Newark, New Jersey, said he would not “completely sell out” of stocks. But he said: “if I was 5% overweight stocks, I might reduce it to 3 pct and see if I could reduce exposure to semiconductors and technology.”

“If you’re looking to avoid the pure dividend play and avoid the China trade narrative, you have to look at stocks that are a pure play on the U.S. economy,” said Peter Kenny, founder, Kenny’s Commentary LLC in New York.

Broadly speaking, investors have been raising their defenses. While the S&P has fallen roughly 4% since Trump announced his plan to raise tariffs on Chinese goods in early May, utilities – a low-growth sector with reliably high dividends – has risen more than 2%.

But growth-hungry investors are seeking more nimble companies with little exposure to overseas sales or Chinese imports even in the beaten down technology sector, where semiconductor stocks have lead the recent declines.

Online advertising platforms and cloud software are two technology segments that would not be directly affected by China tariffs, according to Daniel Morgan, portfolio manager at Synovus Trust in Atlanta.

In online advertising, Morgan favors Twitter, Facebook and Snap Inc over Google parent Alphabet, which suspended business with China’s Huawei this week as a result of the trade battle.

He also likes software providers such as Salesforce.com, which derives 70% of its revenue from the Americas and only 10% from Asia-Pacific. However, Salesforce.com has fallen more than 5% since the Trump tweets.

Another option is Workday Inc, which has risen about 4% since May 5 and derives 75% of its revenue from the United States.

Steve Lipper, senior investment strategist at Royce & Associates favors U.S.-facing companies offering services such as recruiting and merger advice due to a strong U.S. labor market and solid merger activity.

But while U.S.-facing recruitment firms such as Kforce and ASGN Inc may not be hurt directly by the trade war, Robert W. Baird analyst Mark Marcon notes that they would suffer if tariffs caused the economy to weaken.

Instead, Marcon favors domestic payroll software companies such as Automatic Data Processing Inc and Paychex Inc, which tend to do better than recruiters in a downturn. But even if their fundamentals remain strong, payroll companies like Paycom and Paylocity could be vulnerable in a selloff due to relatively high valuations, Marcon said.

In industrials – a sector with heavy exposure to China – Burns McKinney, a portfolio manager at Allianz Global Investors in Dallas likes defense stocks such as Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, which could benefit if U.S.-Iran hostilities keep intensifying.

Since sectors like utilities have risen so much, Royce’s Lipper is favoring less obvious safe choices.

“Be wary when the consensus view is already reflected in valuations,” said Lipper, but he added: “The U.S. economy is so diverse that there are always areas that are insulated from whatever you have a concern about.”

(Reporting By Sinéad Carew; Editing by Alden Bentley and Nick Zieminski)

Source: OANN

A Sikh migrant worker looks through a window of the temple in Borgo Hermada, in the Pontine Marshes, south of Rome
A Sikh migrant worker looks through a window of the temple in Borgo Hermada, in the Pontine Marshes, south of Rome. Originally from India’s Punjab state, the migrant workers pick fruit and vegetables for up to 13 hours a day for between 3-5 euros ($3.30-$5.50) an hour, in Bella Farnia, Italy May 19, 2019. Picture taken May 19, 2019 REUTERS/Yara Nardi

May 24, 2019

SABAUDIA, Italy (Reuters) – Indian migrants working near Rome say Italy’s far-right politicians may talk about curbing immigration but they say the European nation cannot manage without their cheap labor.

“Politicians in order to win votes keep saying things like, ‘We Italians’, ‘Italians first’, ‘Our people’,” said Gurmukh Singh, 47, head of the Indian Community Association.

“If our people go away, if everyone goes back to India, can the Italians work in these fields being paid 4 euros, 3.50 or 2.90 euros?” he said. “There is certainly enough work to go around in Italy.”

The far-right League, led by Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, is expected to emerge as Italy’s leading party in Sunday’s European parliamentary election, campaigning under the slogan “Italy First”.

Salvini has promised to deport more illegal migrants from Italy, where many migrants have landed by boat from North Africa. He has often blamed immigrants for criminal activities.

Rights groups accuse Salvini of fanning racism and intolerance. They question threats to enact mass deportations, saying he has not done so during his first 12 months in office.

As many as 30,000 Indians, mostly Sikhs from India’s Punjab state, live in the Pontine Marshes region, where agriculture expanded after the area was drained in the 1930s.

Some of the workers do not have official documentation, members of the community say.

Many of the workers cycle long distances from cramped accommodation to pick fruit and vegetables for up to 13 hours a day, earning between three and five euros ($3.30-$5.50) an hour, well below the industry’s minimum wage of about eight euros.

Groups of laborers are often overseen at work by other members of the Sikh community.

Marco Omizzolo, who works for research institute Eurispes and migrant rights group In Migrazione said the migrants have little legal protection and have suffered physical abuse.

Association head Singh said he had helped the workers organize a strike and protest for better pay in the past three years. He also said he hoped anti-migrant sentiment would wane.

“With sacrifices, you can move forward,” he said.

(Reporting by Eleanor Biles and Antonio Denti; Writing by Angelo Amante; Editing by Edmund Blair)

Source: OANN

Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro’s stance on immigration, including decriminalizing border crossings and redefining the meaning of a merit-based system may be further left than that of his fellow party hopefuls, but he insists in an interview that he is “on the right path.”

“I don’t care first about what the party approach is, what I care about is getting this right for human beings,” the former Housing and Urban Development secretary told NPR’s “Morning Edition” Friday.

He added that for many years, the border crossings were not treated as a criminal act, but as a civil violation.

“A lot of the problems that we see in the system today flared up after we started treating it as a criminal offense,” said Castro.

He further said he doesn’t agree with President Donald Trump’s stance on illegal immigration, including his call last week to focus on a merit-based immigration system, and he does not agree with Trump about what constitutes a “skilled” job.

“Do you think that you could go and spend 10 hours picking a crop in the fields of California?” said Castro. “Do you think that you could spend 10 hours in 102 degrees, underneath the blaring sun on a roof in Texas? That is skilled labor.”

Castro said his grandmother came to the United States from Mexico in 1922 when she was just 7 years old, along with her little sister, because their parents had died.

“I don’t know that she ever would’ve made it in if we use the rules that this president wants to use, and yet two generations later, one of her grandsons is a congressman and the other is a candidate for president of the United States,” said Castro.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures towards his supporters after the election results at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarter in New Delhi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures towards his supporters after the election results at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarter in New Delhi, India, May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

May 24, 2019

By Krishna N. Das

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks on Friday to form a new cabinet to tackle a stuttering economy and other challenges facing his second term after winning a big majority.

Official data from the Election Commission showed Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party had won 296 of the 542 seats up for grabs and was ahead in seven more, up from the 282 it won in 2014.

The BJP would have the first back-to-back majority in the lower house of parliament for a single party since 1984. Votes will be fully counted by Friday morning.

After a rancorous and a polarizing election campaign, the focus shifts back to an economy that is slowing, even as the U.S.-China trade war rages and global oil prices tick higher.

“While the macroeconomic picture looks stable and promising, many important segments need support from the government,” BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav wrote in a column in the Indian Express daily.

“India cannot completely remain insulated from the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China or the geo-strategic conflict between the U.S. and Iran,” he added.

Later on Friday Modi will meet with his ministers to discuss forming a new cabinet, a government spokesman said.

He has not yet set an inauguration date for the administration, but BJP officials said he was expected to move quickly to put together a new cabinet.

An immediate decision will be whether to keep senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley as finance minister despite his poor health, or assign Railways and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal to the job of leading Asia’s third largest economy.

Goyal, 54, had stepped into the role twice in the Modi government when Jaitley was ill. Goyal presented an interim budget before the election and a full budget is due after the new government takes office.

SLOWING ECONOMIC GROWTH

Despite the dominance of the BJP and its allies in the lower house of parliament, analysts say it does not yet have the numbers in the upper house for tougher reforms such as relaxed labor and land laws sought by the business community.

“But, in the meantime, a chunky capex plan funded by more privatization and used to build more infrastructure can put growth back on the rails at a time when global growth and trade are slowing,” the Financial Express daily said in an editorial.

Economic growth, which fell to an annual 6.6% during October-December, is at its lowest in five quarters, and other economic indicators signal no relief.

Modi will also need to resolve a liquidity crisis that is slowly gripping India’s shadow banks.

BJP President Amit Shah, who is credited with crafting the political strategy that helped the party retain its base in northern and western India but also advanced in the east, is tipped to be the home minister, a powerful post with control of security and intelligence services.

For the main opposition Congress party, however, the next few days are likely to be tumultuous after yet another poor showing. Party chief Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, lost his seat in a family borough in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

“It is astonishing that Rahul Gandhi has not yet resigned as Congress president,” historian Ramachandra Guha said on Twitter.

“Both self-respect, as well as political pragmatism, demand that the Congress elect a new leader. But perhaps the Congress has neither,” he added.

(Additioal reporting by Sanjeev Miglani and Aftab Ahmed; Editing by Darren Schuettler)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A sign is pictured outside the Bank of Canada building in Ottawa
FILE PHOTO: A sign is pictured outside the Bank of Canada building in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

May 24, 2019

By Mumal Rathore

BENGALURU (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada is done raising interest rates until at least the end of next year, with a serious risk of a cut by then as policymakers become more wary of slowing growth and global trade tensions, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

The central bank, which last raised its overnight rate in October, abandoned its tightening bias last month, putting it more in line with peers like the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.

All 40 economists in the latest poll taken May 21-23 said Governor Stephen Poloz and fellow policymakers would hold rates at 1.75% at the May 29 meeting.

While median forecasts show rates unchanged from here on, forecasters were split in three directions starting from the fourth quarter of this year. By end-2020, about two-thirds who provided a view said rates would be either unchanged or lower.

While the BoC cut its near-term growth outlook in last month’s quarterly monetary policy review, it expects the economy to rebound in the second half of this year.

But not everyone is convinced that is about to happen.

“We see little impetus for policymakers to resume rate hikes over our forecast horizon, as sluggish growth and lingering slack in the economy will continue to warrant leaving some policy accommodation in place,” wrote Morgan Stanley economists in a note.

“If growth fails to show any convincing signs of a rebound in 2H19, we think the risks of rate cuts will increase, and given our sluggish outlook, we place a subjective 40% probability that the BoC will deliver at least one 25 basis point rate cut over the next 12 months.”

Asked about the probability of a cut by the end of this year, the median from a smaller sample of economists in the Reuters poll put it at 23%. But that rose to 40% by the end of 2020, with nearly a third predicting more than 50% chance of a cut by then.

Chances of a rate cut this year are a little less than 20 percent, according to market speculators.

One major concern is the U.S.-China trade war, which has heated up over the past month. A Reuters poll taken earlier in May found the risk of recession in the U.S., Canada’s largest trading partner, had risen this month. [ECILT/US]

“If they (the BoC) cut, it is more likely to be on global weakness – generated by U.S.-China tensions most likely – than weakness specifically in Canada,” said David Sloan, senior economist at Continuum Economics, a consultancy.

But there are still some forecasters who expect the BoC to raise rates again. Out of the 30 contributors who provided an end-2020 view, 11 forecast a hike by the end of next year, including four respondents who expect two.

“The Canadian economy faces tail risks, but its labor market is historically tight and the Bank of Canada’s policy rate sits below trend real GDP growth,” said William Adams, senior economist at PNC Financial Services.

“The Bank of Canada’s next move will be a hike unless the U.S. or Canada fall into recession in the next 12 months.”

Chances of a recession in Canada in 12 months were 20%, rising to 27.5% in the next two years, a Reuters poll taken in April found. [ECILT/CA]

Separately, a Reuters survey of property market experts published earlier this week showed Canada’s housing market will stay stuck in the doldrums, with average prices stagnating this year and then rising 1.7% next year. [CA/HOMES]

(Polling by Sujith Pai and Indradip Ghosh; Editing by Ross Finley)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A worker cycles past containers outside a logistics center near Tianjin Port
FILE PHOTO: A worker cycles past containers outside a logistics center near Tianjin Port, in northern China, May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

May 23, 2019

(Reuters) – The recent ratcheting up of U.S.-China trade tensions is creating uncertainties for businesses and could threaten economic growth, four Federal Reserve policymakers said on Thursday.

The remarks suggest the outcome of the 10-month trade war between the world’s two largest economies will be an important factor as Fed policymakers weigh how long to stay “patient” on interest rates.

“I feel like the data is good, but the mood is teetering, so if we get a relaxation or a reduction in the uncertainty…then I expect the economy’s momentum to be an upside risk to growth,” San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly said at a Dallas Fed conference. “If the uncertainties persist…then I think that’s a downside to the economy, because the uncertainty has real effects, but it also has effects on confidence, and that confidence feeds back into investment.”

Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, who spoke on the same panel, also said that uncertainties around trade could hurt growth, while their resolution could boost it.

“I’m watching very carefully how these trade tensions unfold because I have a concern.. whether that could cause some deceleration in the rate of growth,” Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan told reporters after the panel. “It’s too soon to say.”

The comments came as researchers at the New York Fed published research showing the newest round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports will cost the typical American household $831 annually.

The Trump administration this month increased existing tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% from 10%, prompting Beijing to retaliate with its own levies on U.S. imports, as talks to end a 10-month trade war between the world’s two largest economies stalled.

“Our rate setting for the moment — key words being ‘for the moment’ — is in the right area,” Kaplan said. “I think the new development over the last month has been increased trade tensions and more business uncertainty, and it’s going to take a little while to sort out how that might unfold, or how long that might last.”

The policymakers made the comments at a Dallas Fed conference on technology, where academics, educators, and policymakers gathered to discuss the effect of technological advances like artificial intelligence on inflation, labor markets and the economy.

Research presented suggested that the adoption of new technologies may be pushing down on inflation and changing the nature of work in a way that could exacerbate what are already big income inequalities.

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan poses at a luncheon in El Paso
FILE PHOTO: Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan poses at a luncheon in El Paso, Texas, U.S., October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Saphir/File Photo

May 23, 2019

DALLAS (Reuters) – U.S. interest-rates are “for the moment” at the correct setting for the economy, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said on Thursday, but rising trade tensions and mounting inflationary pressures make it difficult to know whether the Fed’s next move will be a rate hike or a rate cut.

“I’m agnostic at this point about whether the next move is up or down,” Kaplan told reporters after a conference here. “I’m watching very carefully how these trade tensions unfold,” he said, adding that he was concerned uncertainties over U.S.-China trade could slow growth, though it was too soon to know. At the same time, he said, inflationary pressures are “intensifying” as the labor market has tightened.

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan poses at a luncheon in El Paso
FILE PHOTO: Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan poses at a luncheon in El Paso, Texas, U.S., October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Saphir/File Photo

May 23, 2019

DALLAS (Reuters) – U.S. interest-rates are “for the moment” at the correct setting for the economy, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said on Thursday, but rising trade tensions and mounting inflationary pressures make it difficult to know whether the Fed’s next move will be a rate hike or a rate cut.

“I’m agnostic at this point about whether the next move is up or down,” Kaplan told reporters after a conference here. “I’m watching very carefully how these trade tensions unfold,” he said, adding that he was concerned uncertainties over U.S.-China trade could slow growth, though it was too soon to know. At the same time, he said, inflationary pressures are “intensifying” as the labor market has tightened.

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Source: OANN


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