CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-U.S. Treasury's Lew sees no stock market bubble

Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:53pm EDT

(Corrects network for interview to Fox Business in paragraph 8)

WASHINGTON, March 14 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was brimming with optimism in a series of television interviews on Thursday, saying he did not see a stock market bubble building on Wall Street and expressing hope the Obama administration and Congress could find common ground in battles over the budget.

"The analysis I've seen doesn't give me reason to be worried right now," Lew told CNBC television when asked about the possibility that a bubble was building in the stock markets.

In his first round of media interviews since taking office late last month, Lew also said the administration continues to pursue a strong dollar policy.

"A strong dollar is in America's interest and that will continue to be our policy," he told CNBC.

The dollar has rallied sharply against a basket of currencies in recent days after U.S. economic data suggested the American economy is outperforming its major counterparts.

At the same time, the Dow Jones industrial average extended its recent winning streak on Thursday, a 10-day string of gains not seen since late 1996, while the S&P 500 closed in sight of its record high, driven by an improving economy and a loose monetary policy from the Federal Reserve.

Lew, the top economic spokesman for President Barack Obama, also weighed in on the budget struggles between the White House and Republicans in Congress. He said there were members from both parties who were interested in coming to an agreement to avoid across-the-board government spending cuts that kicked in on March 1 and risk derailing the economic recovery.

"I think we're in an environment now where there's a constructive conversation going on," he said in an interview on Fox Business. "I continue to live my life as an optimist." (Reporting by Anna Yukhananov, Doug Palmer and Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Diane Craft)

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