Asia stocks slip as Fed warns of 'un­cer­tain' out­look

Daily Messenger - - Biz -

HONG KONG: Asian mar­kets mostly dropped Thurs­day fol­low­ing a broadly neg­a­tive lead from Wall Street af­ter the head of the Fed­eral Re­serve warned of an "un­cer­tain" out­look for the US econ­omy and stressed the need for fresh stim­u­lus.

While the cen­tral bank in­di­cated in­ter­est rates were un­likely to be­gin ris­ing for an­other three years, al­low­ing busi­nesses to bor­row at ul­tra-low lev­els, Jerome Pow­ell’s call for more fis­cal help came with US law­mak­ers un­able to find com­mon ground on a new pack­age.

Don­ald Trump also sowed some con­fu­sion af­ter claim­ing a vac­cine could be avail­able as soon as next month, di­rectly con­tra­dict­ing the head of the Cen­ters for Disease Con­trol and Preven­tion, who had given a time­line of mid2021.

Fed boss Pow­ell told re­porters that while the re­cov­ery was look­ing bet­ter than an­tic­i­pated, "over­all ac­tiv­ity re­mains well be­low its level be­fore the pan­demic and the path ahead re­mains highly un­cer­tain".

"It will take a while to get back to the lev­els of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity and em­ploy­ment that pre­vailed at the be­gin­ning of this year," he said. "My sense is that more fis­cal sup­port is likely to be needed."

Talks on a new res­cue bill have been stuck in the mud for weeks, with both sides dig­ging in their heels and swap­ping the blame, though Demo­cratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House chief of staff Mark Mead­ows each made en­cour­ag­ing state­ments about the po­ten­tial to break the im­passe.

Trump on Wed­nes­day tweeted that Repub­li­cans -- who last week put for­ward a $500 bil­lion pro­posal -should "go for the much higher num­bers", sug­gest­ing he is keen to reach an agree­ment with Democrats, who are aim­ing for $2 tril­lion.

IS­LAM­ABAD: A women pur­chas­ing bou­quet from a shop at flower mar­ket at F-6.

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