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US Fed Unlikely to Cut Interest Rates Over Coronavirus - White House Economic Adviser

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US Federal Reserve is unlikely to cut interest rates to protect the country's markets from the impact of the coronavirus, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC on Tuesday.
“I don’t expect the Fed — I’m not hearing the Fed’s going to make any panic move,” Kudlow, who is White House National Economic Council Director, told the network in an interview. “Apart from the virus, I have said I wouldn’t mind seeing my friends at the Fed be a little bolder in their target rate and their balance sheet. I said that before the virus, that’s not related to the virus.”

Kudlow’s remarks came as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 53 cases of coronavirus in the United States, a surge from just 14 reported earlier this month. US Health Secretary Alex Azar also said on Tuesday he expected the number of infections in the country to grow as he requested higher funding from Congress to battle the contagion.

A screen displays the Dow Jones Industrial Average after the closing bell on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid - Sputnik International
Dow Tumbles 3% Amid Rising Coronavirus Fears

Money market traders have increased bets over the past week that the Federal Reserve will be forced into another round of protective rate cuts if the spread of  the coronavirus showed no signs of slowing and threatens US economic growth, which was into an 11th straight year of expansion. The Federal Reserve just ended an easing cycle in December after cutting rates back-to-back for three months, a quarter point each time.

 

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