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Yellen says Fed is monitoring softer economic data to see if recent slowdown is temporary

WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen noted Thursday that some recent economic data have pointed to weaker-than-expected gains in consumer spending and job growth. She said the Fed will be watching to see whether the slowdown proves only a temporary blip caused by severe winter weather. Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee that the Fed will be alert to upcoming data to make sure that the U.S. economy keeps strengthening.

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 opening remarks to Senate committee identical to February 11 House testimony

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's opening remarks on the U.S. economy as prepared for delivery to the Senate Banking Committee are identical to the prepared testimony she delivered to a House of Representatives panel earlier this month. Yellen is set to testify to the Senate committee at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT). (Reporting by Timothy Ahmann; Editing by Paul Simao)

Dollar eases ahead of Yellen testimony

The dollar eased slightly in quiet trade on Thursday as investors sit on the sidelines before the head of the US Federal Reserve gives testimony to senators later in the day. The greenback was quoted at 102.33 yen in Tokyo, against 102.38 yen in New York late Wednesday, while the euro rose to $1.3693 and 140.13 yen from $1.3683 and 140.11 yen. Yellen will appear before the Senate Banking Committee in a hearing delayed by two weeks because of severe winter weather that has also been blamed as a large factor in a recent spate of disappointing economic indicators.

Dollar firms ahead of Yellen's Senate testimony

The dollar firmed against other major currencies on Wednesday as investors awaited Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony to Congress on Thursday on US economic conditions and monetary policy. The euro fell to $1.3683 around 2200 GMT, down from $1.3744 late Tuesday. The dollar edged up to 102.38 yen from 102.22 yen, while the euro dipped against the Japanese currency, to 140.11 yen from 140.49. "Investors are buying US dollars today ahead of tomorrow's testimony from Janet Yellen on monetary policy," said Kathy Lien of BK Asset Management.

US stocks helped by Fed, Congress

US stocks surged higher this week as investors were reassured by the Federal Reserve, cheered by a congressional move to raise the debt ceiling and undeterred by disappointing economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 360.31 (2.28 percent), its biggest weekly increase in 2014, to close at 16,154.39. The broad-based S&P 500 rose 41.61 (2.32 percent) to 1,838.63, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index vaulted 118.17 (2.86 percent) higher to 4,244.03. It was the second straight week of gains.

U.S. Senate Banking panel postpones hearing with Fed Chair Yellen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Banking Committee said on Wednesday that it postponed Thursday's hearing with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. The Washington area is expecting a significant snowstorm that could conflict with Yellen's testimony. The committee said the hearing, in which Yellen is due to deliver the semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress, would be rescheduled for a yet-to-be-determined date. (Reporting by Karey Van Hall; Editing by Peter Cooney)

European stocks extend gains after Yellen's assurance

European stocks rose on Wednesday after the new Federal Reserve chief said she would stick with stimulus, while US lawmakers agreed to raise the debt ceiling and avert another stand-off. London's FTSE 100 index climbed 0.24 percent to 6,688.41 points in late morning deals, as investors also awaited the Bank of England's quarterly forecasts. There was growing speculation that the bank could alter forward guidance on interest rates.

Oil prices up on winter demand, Yellen testimony

Oil prices rose in Asian trading hours Wednesday due to strong winter demand and expectations that new Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen will not shake up US monetary policy. "The cold weather continues to come into play here with a fall in distillate supplies," said Desmond Chua, an analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore. "Investors seem to like the certainty and confidence of new Fed Chief Janet Yellen," he added.

Tokyo stocks up 0.94% by break

Tokyo stocks rose 0.94 percent Wednesday morning after Wall Street shares soared on new US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's promise of continuity in central bank monetary policy. The benchmark Nikkei-225 index added 138.19 points to 14,856.53 by the break, while the Topix index of all first-section shares gained 1.57 percent, or 18.91 points, to 1,223.19. Tokyo's rise came after the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.22 percent to 15,994.77 on Tuesday as stocks reacted warmly to the new Fed chief's remarks.
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