IMF chief defends rate hikes after Trump slams 'crazy' Fed

Pakistan to start talks with IMF as rupee continues to fall

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde met with Pakistani delegation headed by Finance Minister Asad Umer on Thursday and said a team would visit Islamabad for talks on a possible bailout of its shaky economy.

While the IMF's outlook for the Chinese economy stayed at 6.6% this year, its forecast for next year of 6.2% represents the slowest growth rate the Asian country has seen since 1990.

Prominent U.S. academic Jeffrey Sachs was less diplomatic in his assessment of Trump's shepherding of American trade relationships, slamming the president's repeated claims that deficits with China and other nations meant Americans were being taken advantage of.

"I will take (the country) out of this", he said.

The IMF's latest report on world financial stability, released Wednesday, said global growth could be at risk if emerging markets deteriorate further or trade tensions escalate.

The IMF said the global economy would grow 3.7 per cent this year, the same as in 2017 but down from the 3.9 per cent it was forecasting for 2018 in July.

The IMF expects the USA economy to grow 2.9 per cent this year, the fastest pace since 2005 and unchanged from the July forecast.

Among emerging market and developing economies, the growth prospects of many energy exporters have been lifted by higher oil prices, but growth was revised down for Argentina, Brazil, Iran, and Turkey.

Market participants "appear complacent" about the potential risks from a "sudden, sharp tightening of conditions" - like rising interest rates or declining access to capital.

Health officials report 6 cases of rare, polio-like virus in Minnesota
Acute flaccid myelitis is tricky to diagnose and may require tests of spinal fluid, as well as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Mertz still recommends staying up to date on vaccinations and practicing good hygiene to prevent spreading germs.

Chinese stocks tumble as trading resumes under a cloud
It is likely that further RRR cuts in addition to fiscal stimulus are in the pipeline to cushion the slowdown in the economy.

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He has been critical of some policies of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Riyadh's intervention in the war in Yemen. Khashoggi's fiance has asked US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump to "help shed light" on his disappearance.

The head of the World Trade Organization warned that a "full-blown commercial war" could shrink global trade by almost 18% and also knock worldwide GDP, hurting the US, China, and others.

Lagarde told reporters Thursday at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank (WB) in Bali, Indonesia, that so far there had been no "contagion" of major damage from penalty tariffs imposed by the two countries on each other's exports, but that they do risk hurting "innocent bystanders".

Brazil will see a 0.4 percentage-point drop in GDP growth to 1.4% for 2018 as a nationwide truckers strike paralysed much of the economy.

The IMF said the RRR cut, together with other easing and stimulus policies, "may help support economic growth in the near term in the face of rising external pressures.(but) may entail greater risks to financial stability over the medium term should they set back progress toward reducing financial vulnerabilities".

Russian Federation was among the few energy-rich emerging market countries whose growth forecasts were bumped up.

Trade tensions are expected to continue although Fund officials view US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement as a positive sign.

SBP spokesman Abid Qamar told Reuters "the market is aware about the overall macroeconomic conditions and based on those conditions, they are having their own expectations about the exchange rate, so that is driving (the rupee valuations) now".

The announcement followed the highest single-day loss in a decade in the stock market, which plunged by over 1,300 points, losing nearly Rs 270 billion of its capitalisation.

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