Asian stocks rose, with the benchmark index headed toward its biggest weekly advance since April, while Malaysia’s ringgit and the Australian dollar led gains in regional currencies. Precious metals rebounded as copper pared a quarterly decline.
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser, who votes on policy this year, said recent encouraging economic data isn’t enough to change the pace of the central bank’s asset purchases.
U.S. stocks declined with emerging- market equities while base metals drove commodities lower as an unexpected drop in Chinese exports fueled concern that growth in the world’s second-largest economy is moderating.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans, who has supported record stimulus, said the central bank’s slowdown in bond buying should be seen as a shift in emphasis toward keeping interest rates near zero for a longer time.
Federal Reserve Governor Jeremy Stein endorsed a warning by economists that raising the main interest rate may cause a financial-market convulsion similar to the “tantrum” that occurred last year after the Fed said it was considering trimming its bond purchase program.
Prices in the U.S. may increase more than many expect this year, says David Rosenberg. That’s a 180- degree turn for the economist who not long ago correctly predicted a declining inflation rate, a view now prevalent among his peers.