Global stocks soar on dovish Fed, strong U.S. jobs data

'No' Jerome Powell won't resign

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday signaled patience in the central bank's policy contemplation for this year despite a higher-than-expected job growth data released on the same day.

Early Friday, the Labor Department said that us employers added the most workers in 10 months as wage gains accelerated and labor-force participation jumped, suggesting the underlying economy is holding up amid falling stock prices. On Friday, his softer tone eased investor concerns about further tightening, noting that the Fed will be flexible with all of its monetary policy tools, including the important balance sheet. "Powell is definitely trying to calm the markets".

The Fed, which hiked benchmark US interest rates four times a year ago including in December, is however not on a preset path and could pause policy tightening as it did in 2016 when global growth concerns led to doubts about the USA economic recovery, he said. Still, recent declines in financial markets reflect concerns among investors about downside risks to the outlook, he said. Against that backdrop, Powell, during an panel discussion featuring former Fed bosses, Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke at an event in Atlanta, said the employment report underlined the economy's health.

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That robust figure, however, will not as of now change the Fed's plan to conduct two rate hikes this year, as the central bank awaits more economic indicators coming in the next few months.

"The upcoming earnings season will likely see managements reset 2019 earnings expectations to something close to flat versus 2018", said Colas in note on Friday, adding that stocks could push higher in the year even if January is a month of losses. That flexibility, he added, applied as well to the monthly reductions to the Fed's balance sheet.

At the conference on Friday, Mr Powell said he has not spoken directly to Mr Trump and would not resign if asked. Under the law that governs the Federal Reserve, a president can only remove a Fed chairman for cause. Stocks have been pressured since mid-December when the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate a quarter-point while issuing a somewhat-hawkish statement despite lowering its rate hike projections from three to two.

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Overall, she said she felt the Fed was in a "really good spot". "We're always prepared to shift the stance of policy and to shift it significantly if necessary". He also said that the central bank would be willing to "adjust" policy if it disrupted the market or created adverse financial conditions, running against the central bank's statutory goals.

Analysing the Fed statements, James Glassman, senior economist at JP Morgan said, "We have got very strong job news, the economy got lot of momentum to generate this kind of job news then why has the US Fed become cautious - it is because the inflation trends have been little more moderate".

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