US Fed raises interest rate, forecasts 3 hikes in 2018

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Despite claims by the Trump administration that the cuts, which most analyses view as skewed toward corporations and wealthy individuals, will boost growth, the Fed predicts that economic growth will benefit only marginally, if at all, from the tax cut plan.

The predictions suggest the U.S. central bank is taking a wait-and-see approach to Trump's signature economic policy and his first major legislative victory since he was elected. At present, the Fed expects inflation to hover around 1.7 percent by year's end. In an open letter to CFTC chairman Christopher Giancarlo, the lobby group said the introduction of bitcoin futures "did not allow for proper public transparency and input". But the president has also expressed a desire to pull back on many of the regulations that were imposed on banks after the 2008 financial crisis. It's this abiding faith that has led to the bailout of banks that made bad loans and the bailout of a failing auto industry.

Meanwhile, British shares traded sideways as investors' anticipation of a rate rise from the US Fed drove financial stocks higher while high-yielding consumer stocks suffered.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies dropped to 93.888, down 0.23 percent on the day. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 86 points, or 0.4 percent, to 24,472.

As expected, the central bank raised the federal funds rate - what banks charge each other for short-term loans - by 0.25 percentage points to a still-low range of 1.25 to 1.5 percent.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari dissented in the policy statement on Wednesday.

Although the FIA recognizes that exchanges may self-certify a product without CFTC approval, this does not apply to novel products, such as bitcoin futures. The committee also revised its inflation figures up slightly, with a headline inflation rating at 1.7% rather than the 1.6% projected in September. Partly as a result, it foresees three additional rate hikes in 2018 under the leadership of Jerome Powell, who succeeds Janet Yellen as Fed chair in February. The euro added 0.15 per cent to $1.1841 following gains of 0.7 per cent the previous day.

European lawmakers continue to debate Brexit and weigh moves on the next step, while North America Free Trade Agreement negotiators meet again.

Australian stocks added 0.1 per cent and South Korea's KOSPI climbed 0.8 per cent. Japan's Nikkei bucked the broader trend and lost 0.15 per cent, weighed by the weaker dollar. The vote to raise rates was 7 to 2. Insurance companies have been squeezed as the Fed drove down interest rates. The stock shed $9.94 to $111.31.

Germany's DAX fell 0.44 per cent to close at 13,125.64. However, given that since the Fed started raising rates in 2015 and savings account interest rates haven't budged, I wouldn't bet on a substantial increase this time either.

A forex dealer said that inflation and IIP numbers are considered to be statistically significant against the backdrop of a recovery in GDP growth and recent RBI's decision to keep key rates unchanged, a forex dealer said.

Copper increased 0.7 percent to $3.05 a pound, hitting the highest in more than a week with its sixth consecutive advance. Ageism rolls on. Personal example: People look at my website and love my work.

The dollar was little changed at 112.620 yen after losing 0.9 per cent overnight.

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