Share prices hit fresh records on Wall Street on Friday after the head of the US central bank, Jerome Powell, expressed concern about rocketing Covid-19 infections and gave no new clues on when the Federal Reserve would start to ease back on its stimulus programme.
Speaking at the virtual gathering of central bankers at Jackson Hole in Wyoming, the Fed chairman said that, while thWall Street had been braced for Powell to flesh out plans to start tapering away the support the Fed has been providing to the US economy through its asset-buying programme. Instead, he warned that an over-hasty tightening of policy could be “particularly harmful” to jobs.
e economy was recovering from the pandemic, he and his fellow policymakers were carefully monitoring the impact of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
Powell’s remarks were far less hawkish than some Wall Street analysts had expected and had an instant impact on the financial markets.
The S&P 500 and the technology-dominated Nasdaq share price indices both reached new peaks in the immediate aftermath of the Fed’s chairman’s speech, while there were falls in both the dollar and yields on US Treasury bills.