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article imageMnuchin plays down US market swoon as global rout rolls on

By AFP     Oct 11, 2018 in World

Wall Street's rout is a natural correction and not caused by any particular factors, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday, after his boss Donald Trump hung blame for the losses on US interest-rate increases.

The fall in US stocks on Wednesday triggered a global sell-off as investors fretted repeated rounds of interest rate hikes and the ongoing US-China trade war.

But Mnuchin said in media interviews on the Indonesia resort island of Bali, where the World Bank and International Monetary Fund are meeting, that "this is not a systemic issue”.

"Markets are not efficient and markets move in both directions and at times they overshoot in both directions," he told Bloomberg News on the sidelines of the forum.

"The fundamentals of the US economy continue to be extremely strong. I think that's why the stock market has performed as well as it has."

"The fact that there's somewhat of a correction given how much the market has gone up is not particularly surprising," he said.

The global losses rippled across Asia on Thursday after Trump criticised US Federal Reserve rate increases as "crazy," -- though he also added that the market's plunge was "a correction that we’ve been waiting for for a long time."

But in an interview with CNN in Bali, Mnuchin appeared to contradict Trump's suggestion that the Fed was partly to blame.

"I don't think there was any new news that came out of the Fed today that wasn't there beforehand," Mnuchin was quoted saying.

"Markets go up. Markets go down."

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