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Yellen commits Fed to boost still-weak U.S. economy

(Reuters) - The head of the Federal Reserve vowed on Wednesday to do all that she can to boost a U.S. economy that is running well short of the central bank's objectives. "The economy continues to operate considerably short of these objectives" of maximum employment and stable prices, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said according to prepared remarks at a swearing-in ceremony at the central bank in Washington.

Fed survey finds severe weather held back economic activity in much of nation this winter

WASHINGTON - A Federal Reserve survey shows severe weather held back economic growth in much of the nation from January through early February. Even so, conditions improved in most U.S. regions, thanks to slight gains in areas such as employment and commercial real estate. Eight of the Fed's 12 regions reported improved activity, according to the Beige Book survey released Wednesday. The improvement was depicted as "modest to moderate."

US private sector posts modest job growth in February

US businesses added just 139,000 jobs in February, modest growth due in part to bad winter weather and job losses in financial services, payrolls firm ADP said Wednesday. Last month's job expansion was well below the average of 186,000 over the prior 12 months. The reading missed expectations of 150,000 net new jobs. ADP significantly revised downward January's number to 127,000 jobs, from the prior estimate of 175,000.

US stocks rise despite weak data, Ukraine tensions

US stocks closed out a buoyant February with a fresh record for the S&P 500 as bullish sentiment dominated trade despite mediocre economic data and rising tensions over Ukraine. The S&P 500 was the week's star, notching consecutive records Thursday and Friday and finishing up 23.2 points (1.26 percent) at 1,859.45. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 218.41 (1.36 percent) on the week to 16,321.71, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tacked on 44.71 (1.05 percent) to 4,308.12.

Asian shares mixed after upbeat Yellen testimony

Asian markets were mixed on Friday after Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen provided an upbeat view of the US economy and hinted the bank could ease up on its stimulus taper if the growth outlook weakens. The comments provided the platform for a record close on Wall Street, while forex traders sold the dollar on the possibility that the bank's bond-buying could continue for longer.

Asian shares climb after upbeat Yellen testimony

Asian markets rose Friday after Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen provided an upbeat view of the US economy and hinted the bank could ease up on its stimulus taper if the growth outlook weakens. The comments provided the platform for a record close on Wall Street, while forex traders sold the dollar on the possibility that the bank's bond-buying could continue for longer. Tokyo added 0.10 percent and Hong Kong added 0.64 percent in early trade, Shanghai rose 0.16 percent and Sydney put on 0.30 percent. Seoul was flat.

Dollar slips after Yellen testimony

The US dollar slipped against the euro Thursday after Janet Yellen suggested the Federal Reserve could shift its tapering policy if recent weaker data represented a fundamental change in growth. But the turmoil in Ukraine, with worries of a regional conflict involving Russia focused on Crimea, kept up demand for safe-haven currencies generally. After trading lower ahead of Yellen's Senate testimony, at 2200 GMT the euro was up to $1.3710 from $1.3683 late Wednesday.

Fed's Yellen vows to increase board oversight in enforcement actions

By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday pledged to ramp up the board's participation in major bank enforcement policy decisions, such as voting to approve critical settlement deals. "I do think it is appropriate for us to make changes and I fully expect that we will," Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee, in response to questions from Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Highlights: Fed chief Yellen's testimony to U.S. Senate committee

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The following are highlights of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony on the U.S. economy and monetary policy to the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. Yellen delivered the Fed's semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to the House Financial Services Committee on February 11, but her testimony to the Senate panel scheduled for February 13 was delayed because of a winter storm. YELLEN ON OVERNIGHT FIXED-RATE REVERSE REPURCHASE AGREEMENT OPERATION

Yellen: winter weather a factor in weak data

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Thursday that the intense winter storms of the past two months have been one cause of the recent run of weak US economic data. But, after several key indicators came in well below expectations since she last addressed the state of the economy, Yellen said that Fed policy makers are on the watch for any fundamental changes in the pace of growth. "We have seen quite a bit of soft data over the last month or six weeks," she told the Senate Banking Committee.
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