Fed's Powell Says Not Troubled By Equity Valuations

Stock prices are not at troubling levels, said Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell on Wednesday. "Equity prices are high but they are not out of historical ranges," Powell said during a question-and-answer session after a speech in New York. The Fed governor said the U.S. central bank was focused on making the financial market resilient to market volatility or "hurricanes" adding that he did not think the Fed would be able to prevent them. "I don't see the Fed as putting its toe in that water and saying 'we're calling stock prices too high and therefore we're going to raise interest rates'," he said. He said the Fed would be more concerned with a spike in household, corporate or bank leverage. In his remarks, Powell said he was not worried about another market taper-tantrum when the Fed raises interest rates for the first time. "I do not expect that such an increase or the associated market reaction will materially restrain the progress of the economy," he said.

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