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Stocks decline on concerns that U.S. Fed could hike rates sooner than thought

TORONTO - North American stock markets backed off amid worries that the U.S. Federal Reserve could end up raising interest rates as soon as the spring of next year. The S The Fed is no longer mentioning a specific unemployment rate that might lead it eventually to raise rates. Instead, it will monitor a wide range of economic data. Also, Fed chair Janet Yellen signalled that the central bank could begin raising short-term rates six months after it halts its bond purchases around year’s end.

US stocks fall as Fed hints at higher rates

US stocks dropped after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen offered a rough time-table for when the central bank could raise benchmark interest rates. At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 113.12 points (0.69 percent) to 16,223.07. The broad-based S&P 500 fell 11.41 (0.61 percent) to 1,860.84, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 25.71 (0.59 percent) to 4,307.60. Stocks did not move significantly after the Fed's initial policy announcement at 1800 GMT, which, as expected, continued a plan to trim back stimulus.

Dollar surges on Fed hint of higher interest rates

The US dollar surged Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen sketched out a rough time-table for when the central bank could raise benchmark interest rates. At 2100 GMT Wednesday, the euro fell to $1.3827 from $1.3932 late Tuesday. The dollar bought 102.32 Japanese yen, up from 101.42. The euro advanced to 141.53 yen from 141.29. The Fed, as expected, decided to continue to trim back its stimulus program.

Dollar surges on Fed hint of higher interest rates

The US dollar surged Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen sketched out a rough time-table for when the central bank could raise benchmark interest rates. At 2100 GMT Wednesday, the euro fell to $1.3827 from $1.3932 late Tuesday. The dollar bought 102.32 Japanese yen, up from 101.42. The euro advanced to 141.53 yen from 141.29. The Fed, as expected, decided to continue to trim back its stimulus program.

Fed to further taper asset purchases in April

The Federal Reserve decided Wednesday to slow the pace of its stimulus spending by another $10 billion to $55 billion starting in April, citing improvement in labor market conditions. The U.S. central bank's policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee also kept its benchmark short-term interest rate at zero to 0.25 percent in a session presided over by Janet Yellen for the first time since she became Fed chief last month.

Yellen hints that Fed could start increasing short-term rates around mid-2015

WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is signalling that the central bank could begin raising short-term rates six months after it halts its bond purchases around year's end. That was the clearest indication to date of when the Fed might raise its benchmark short-term rate, which has been at a record low near zero since 2008. The Fed has previously resisted specifying the timing of a possible increase in the short-term rate. Its latest statement says the rate could stay at a record low "for a considerable time" after the bond purchases end.

Americas News Agenda for March 19

Duty Editor: Jim Mannion Tel: +1 202 414 0541 What's happening in the Americas on Wednesday: + US Fed chair to offer signal on rates + First Lady Obama heads to China WASHINGTON: Janet Yellen faces the media for the first time as chair of the Federal Reserve, with markets hoping for a clearer picture on when the Fed expects to hike interest rates. Fed policy committee to issue statement at about 1800 GMT. Yellen press conference to follow. Picture. Video (US-ECONOMY-BANK-RATE)

Married to the Fed: Yellen and her husband, a Nobel winner, have built an economic partnership

WASHINGTON - As the Federal Reserve's new leader, Janet Yellen won't have to go far to bounce ideas off a fellow economist. The kitchen table will do just fine. Yellen is the first Fed leader in the central bank's 100 years to be married to an equally renowned economist — a Nobel laureate, no less. In 35 years of marriage, Yellen and George Akerlof have partnered on groundbreaking research on everything from the collapse of East Germany to out-of-wedlock births to the way generous pay for a baby sitter shows how wages motivate workers.

Americas News Agenda for March 18

Duty Editor: Jim Mannion Tel: +1 202 414 0541 What's happening in the Americas on Tuesday: + New Fed chief Yellen chairs first policy meeting + Obama gives highest honor to 24 veterans WASHINGTON: The Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee opens a two-day monetary policy meeting, headed for the first time by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who took the helm of the central bank on February 1. 1600 GMT (US-ECONOMY-BANK-RATE)

Fed's Bullard the biggest market-mover in 2013, research shows

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis President James Bullard had the biggest impact on bond markets of all Fed policymakers in 2013, according to a new tally. Research by Macroeconomic Advisers showed Bullard, seen as a policy centrist, beat former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke for the mantle of most market-moving U.S. central banker, although the Fed chief had a bigger impact on a per-speech basis.
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