US Fed calls for Facebook to halt Libra project until concerns addressed

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Powell said the Fed has established a working group to follow the project and is coordinating with other central banks across the globe.

"Looking at the Treasury market before and after the release of Chair Powell's prepared Testimony, markets appear to have been expecting him to offer a bit of resistance to the idea that a rate cut at the end of this month is a done deal", said Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. United States equity markets got off to a bullish start to the day as the S&P 500 Index moved to make an all-time high after hitting the 3,000 mark - a remarkable level that traders have been optimistically eyeing over the past months.

Hopes that the Fed would step in to keep the economy humming have risen sharply since May when trade negotiations between the U.S. and China stalled.

Powell testifies to Senate Banking Committee on ThursdayECB minutes are due on Thursday.A key measure of USA inflation - the core consumer price index, due Thursday - is expected to have increased 0.2% in June from the prior month, while the broader CPI is forecast to remain unchanged.US producer prices are due on Friday.

Inflation has been also running below the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) symmetric 2 percent objective, he noted, amid the above-mentioned "crosscurrents" that have created greater uncertainty since May.

Powell will nearly certainly face questions about Fed independence, given that the bank has relatively quickly - if begrudgingly - shifted its stance to align with Trump's demands for reduced interest rates.

"We don't have any evidence for calling this a hot labour market", Powell told lawmakers.

The Nasdaq is up 1,567.25 points, or 23.6%.

"We really have learned though that the economy can sustain much lower unemployment than we thought without troubling levels of inflation".

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In prepared remarks ahead of his two-day testimony to Congress, Powell said overall growth has also "moderated", while "there is a risk that weak inflation will be even more persistent than we now anticipate".

Policymakers also appear to be far more anxious about a lack of confidence that is seeping into troubling spending and pricing decisions.

Mr Powell's semi-annual congressional testimony occurred against the backdrop of US President Donald Trump's frequent criticism of the Fed - and his demands that the Fed cut interest rates.

"Manufacturing, trade and investment are weak all around the world".

After raising rates four times previous year, the Fed has indicated in January that it would be "patient" with future hikes.

Asked by Representative Maxine Waters, who chairs the committee, if he would "pack up and leave" if the president demanded it, Powell replied with a curt "no ma'am".

In his testimony, Powell said the economy has performed "reasonably well" over the first half of the year. Trump has argued that last year's rate hikes have held back economic growth and the stock market. A cut could lift home and auto sales by lowering the borrowing costs for major purchases. Not all policymakers were convinced at the last meeting.

David Marcus, Facebook's blockchain lead and the head of Calibra, a subsidiary which will build a digital wallet for the cryptocurrency, responded to some questions by the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday.

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