Economy

Fed expects tax legislation to boost economy

Fed expects tax legislation to boost economy

The dollar was pressured lower by the euro, with climbing 0.35% to 1.2048, the highest level since September 8.

Minutes of the December policy meeting, when the central bank raised interest rates for the third time previous year, revealed that officials were divided on the pace of further hikes.

The Fed's quarterly economic projections also released last month indicated the central bank is likely to raise the federal funds rate three times in 2018 and once in 2019.

According to the minutes, policymakers showed worry over the fate of now low inflation and saw recent tax changes as providing a boost to consumer spending.

"Obviously the Fed is a little puzzled why inflation hasn't picked up", said Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist for Allianz Investment Management. "I don't think the Fed will stomp it out".

The U.S. dollar continued to fall on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the dollar was up 0.6% versus the pound at 0.7400, 0.4% higher against the euro at 0.8325 and 0.2% firmer against the yen at 112.52, buoyed by strong data releases. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, dipped by 1.8 basis points to 2.447%.

United States central bankers are divided over how fast they will need to raise interest rates next year, given differences over the causes behind the low inflation and wage gains seen to date, according to a report released Wednesday.

MSCI's gauge of stocks .

The dollar index hit a 3-1/2-month trough of 91.751 and was last down 0.3 percent at 91.887. In 2017, the index's best year since 2009, it set scores of record highs and rose by one-fifth in value.

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U. S. equities also climbed to fresh highs on Wednesday, propelled by tech stocks.

The benchmark S&P 500 breached the 2,700-mark for the first time yesterday, while the Nasdaq Composite and the Dow Jones Industrial Average also broke records as tech stocks climbed amid indications of strong economic growth in the United States and overseas.

Even though the central bank's minutes revealed some division between policy hawks and doves, the tax cuts were seen as very helpful for the economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 98.67 points, or 0.40 percent, to 24,922.68.

Technology companies Oracle and IBM rose 2.43 percent and 2.87 percent, respectively, following brokerage upgrades. Spot gold's hit its first day of losses in nearly three weeks on Wednesday.

In Europe, shares closed higher on Wednesday after a rising dollar boosted exporters and Wall Street records lifted optimism as new European market rules took hold. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.48 per cent.

-The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.3 percent.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.58 percent, and Japan's Nikkei .

-Germany's DAX index rose 0.8 percent.

February gold futures lost 0.2 percent to $1,315.30 per troy ounce, while spot gold recovered 0.07 percent to 1,314.16 an ounce.


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