Global stocks surge, dollar fades as Fed sees gradual tightening | Reuters
By Lewis Krauskopf | NEW YORK NEW YORK U.S. stocks surged on Wednesday, while Treasury yields fell and the dollar weakened, after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the second time in three months but did not flag any plan to accelerate the pace of monetary tightening.The dollar's plunge helped fuel gains in assets denominated in the U.S. currency, including oil and gold.Investors had widely expected the central bank's rate increase, which was spurred by steady economic growth, strong job gains and confidence that inflation is rising to the Fed's target.But the Fed's policy-setting committee did not flag any plan to accelerate the pace of monetary tightening
By Lewis Krauskopf
| NEW YORK
NEW YORK U.S. stocks surged on Wednesday, while Treasury yields fell and the dollar weakened, after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the second time in three months but did not flag any plan to accelerate the pace of monetary tightening.The dollar's plunge helped fuel gains in assets denominated in the U.S. currency, including oil and gold.Investors had widely expected the central bank's rate increase, which was spurred by steady economic growth, strong job gains and confidence that inflation is rising to the Fed's target.But the Fed's policy-setting committee did not flag any plan to accelerate the pace of monetary tightening. Further rate increases would only be "gradual," the Fed said in its policy statement, with officials sticking to their outlook for two more rate hikes this year and three more in 2018. "Lower rates, higher equities and a lower dollar all point to this being interpreted as more dovish than what was expected," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 112.73 points, or 0.54 percent, to 20,950.1, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 19.81 points, or 0.84 percent, to 2,385.26 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 43.23 points, or 0.74 percent, to 5,900.05.
Energy shares .SPNY and defensive sectors such as utilities .SPLRCU and real estate .SPLRCR led gains. "Markets are recognising that while the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates three times this year, there is not the risk that some were afraid of that they would move more aggressively based on what we have now," said Frances Donald, senior economist with Manulife Asset Management in Toronto.The dollar fell 1.2 percent against a basket of key currencies .DXY and hit a five-week low against the euro.The euro hit a session high after an exit poll showed Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's VVD Party won the most seats in parliamentary elections.
Anti-Islam Party for Freedom of Geert Wilders, which provided the latest test of anti-establishment and anti-EU sentiment, was tied with two other parties at 19 seats apiece in the 150-seat house of representatives, while the VVD won 31 seats, according to the poll.U.S. two- and three-year yields, which are most vulnerable to Fed policy, fell from multi-year highs touched during morning U.S. trading.Prices on benchmark 10-year Treasuries US10YT=RR rose 27/32 to yield 2.498 percent, from 2.595 percent late on Tuesday.
Oil prices rose after six sessions of declines, with the greenback-denominated commodity extending gains as the dollar weakened.U.S. crude CLc1 settled up 2.4 percent at $48.86 a barrel, after touching a three-month low a day earlier. Benchmark Brent LCOc1 settled up 1.8 percent to $51.81 a barrel.Before the decision, crude had been lifted by a surprise drawdown in U.S. crude inventories and data from the International Energy Agency suggesting OPEC cuts should create a crude deficit in the first half of 2017. Spot gold XAU= gained 1.8 percent.Earlier, the pan-European STOXX 600 index gained 0.4 percent, helped by energy .SXEP and basic resource stocks .SXPP. (Additional reporting by Ann Saphir, Saqib Ahmed and Sinead Carew, Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.