October 3, 2018 / 7:50 PM / a year ago

Fed's Mester says U.S. bond yield jump not of immediate concern

ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - A jump in long-term U.S. bond yields on Wednesday is not of immediate concern, Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said, adding that any pronounced “divergence” between the United States and other economies will need to be monitored.

“The fact that interest rates moved on one day is not a concerning thing. Markets are volatile,” Mester told reporters after speaking at a community banking conference in St. Louis.

Treasury yields reached multi-year peaks on Wednesday after U.S. economic data bolstered the case for the Fed to raise rates in December.

Mester said, moving forward, “the risk is that we have the U.S. diverging from what is happening to the other global economies and that could feed back ... I don’t find it concerning at the moment, but it is something that we are going to be looking at when we are assessing where the economy is going.”

But for now she said the U.S. central bank was on track to continue its gradual pace of rate increases, joining several of her Fed colleagues on Wednesday in echoing an upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy.

Growth is on track, job gains remain strong, and “I don’t see much evidence that we have high risk on inflation,” Mester said.

“It is still appropriate for us to be moving interest rates up gradually.”

Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Paul Simao

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