U.S. Sen. Manchin looking 'favorably' on Fed's Powell renomination

Nov 18 (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is looking favorably at the prospect of Jerome Powell being renominated as Federal Reserve chair, though he has not made a decision on whether to support him or not, a spokesperson said on Thursday.

Manchin's remarks were earlier reported by The Hill.

Democratic President Joe Biden said earlier this week he will likely decide by the end of this week whether to keep Powell in his post another four years or elevate Fed Governor Lael Brainard to the job.

With the Senate split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, Biden has made it a practice of seeking Manchin's support for key pieces of his economic agenda, so the Democratic senator's view on Powell may grab some attention as investors try to gauge which way Biden is leaning.

Manchin supported Powell's nomination the first time around, but has more recently expressed worries about rising inflation and the Fed's bond-buying program. On Wednesday, the two spoke by phone, and Manchin said the Fed chair helped him understand the U.S. central bank's strategy.

"I have not made up my mind yet," Manchin told The Hill in remarks his spokesperson confirmed to Reuters. "But I'm just saying that it helped an awful lot having him clear up a lot of the concerns I had." (Reporting by Ann Saphir; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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