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Economy strong, stock drop a 'natural correction' - Mnuchin

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday the US economy remains strong, and the recent decline in the stock market was "just a natural correction."

[WASHINGTON] Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday the US economy remains strong, and the recent decline in the stock market was "just a natural correction."

After two days of sharp declines in US and global stock markets over fears of rising interest rates and the US trade conflicts, Mr Mnuchin said in an interview on CNBC that markets "tend to go too far in both directions" and will have natural corrections.

But he said it was a "good thing" that Wall Street as poised to recover on Friday. He was speaking on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund annual meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

Mr Mnuchin also downplayed concerns about President Donald Trump's repeated and aggressive attacks on the US Federal Reserve this week, saying Mr Trump "respects the independence of the Fed."

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Mr Trump said the Fed had "gone crazy" and was being "too aggressive in raising rates," blaming the institution for the market declines that saw the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average lose nearly 1,400 points in two days.

"The president's been clear. He likes low interest rates. I think that's really what it was about," Mr Mnuchin said, adding that Fed chair Jerome Powell is "doing a good job."

"I think the fundamentals are still very strong. The US economy is strong, US earnings are strong. So I see this as just a natural correction after the markets were up a lot."

AFP

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