Markets fall…Airline bill…Fed signal
UNDATED (AP) – European and Asian markets fell Thursday following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s move to tighten its monetary policy and raise interest rates for the third time this year. Futures point to a lackluster opening on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $72 per barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and the euro.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The House voted Wednesday to direct the federal government to set a minimum size for airline seats, bar passengers from being kicked off overbooked planes, and consider whether to restrict animals on planes. Those and other passenger-related provisions were included in a bill to authorize Federal Aviation Administration programs for five years. The House approved the measure by a 398-23 vote, sending it to the Senate. Lawmakers abandoned a plan to privatize the nation’s air-traffic-control system. And they dropped a proposal to crack down on “unreasonable” airline fees.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve signaled its confidence Wednesday in the U.S. economy by raising a key interest rate for a third time this year, forecasting another rate hike before year’s end and predicting that it will continue to tighten credit into 2020 to manage growth and inflation. The Fed lifted its short-term rate – a benchmark for many consumer and business loans – by a modest quarter-point to a range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent. It was its eighth hike since late 2015. The central bank also stuck with a previous forecast for three more rate hikes in 2019.
DETROIT (AP) – From Ford to Walmart to Procter & Gamble, a growing number of iconic American companies are warning that President Donald Trump’s tariffs on U.S. imports are raising their costs and prices. Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford, the second-largest U.S.-based automaker, said Wednesday that Trump’s taxes on imported steel and aluminum are costing Ford $1 billion and threatening to ignite price increases across the auto industry. Likewise, Walmart, America’s largest retailer, warned of possible price increases.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The United States and Japan announced Wednesday they will open negotiations on a bilateral trade agreement between the world’s first- and third-largest economies. It’s a significant shift by Tokyo which has been a strong advocate of a multi-nation trans-Pacific trade pact that President Donald Trump withdrew from soon after taking office. The move won Japan relief from the immediate threat of punitive tariffs on its auto exports to the U.S. Trump made the announcement after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in New York.