Stocks gain, dollar down as Fed sees gradual tightening

Stocks gain, dollar down as Fed sees gradual tightening

The euro hit a session high after an exit poll showed Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's VVD Party won the most seats in parliamentary elections. It touched a high of $1.0740 Wednesday.

"The worry is that PVV will do better in Holland on Wednesday than what's already priced in (and) you've got these tensions in the United Kingdom because of the Article 50 trigger", said BMO currency strategist Stephen Gallo, in London. Sterling managed to pull away from a two-month low of $1.2110 struck Tuesday on fears of prolonged political jousting over Brexit terms. Oil prices slid to three-month lows after OPEC reported a rise in global crude stocks and a surprise jump in production from its biggest member, Saudi Arabia, which came despite output curbs by the group.

Hours after the Fed's rate hike, China's central bank on Thursday raised short-term interest rates for the third time in as many months, a day after the end of the annual session of parliament where leaders warned that tackling debt risks would be a top policy priority this year.

The kiwi dollar traded at 69.20 United States cents in Wellington, down from 69.35 cents late yesterday.

Given markets are widely expecting the US Federal Open Market Committee to lift the fed funds rate a quarter point to a range of 0.75 percent to 1 percent, the main focus will be on the so-called "dot plot", which it uses to signal its outlook for the path of interest rates, he said.

Turkey threatens to send Europe '15000 refugees a month'
The European Union's top court ruled on Tuesday that employers in Europe may ban staff from wearing visible religious symbols. Although the numbers were slightly less than in 2015, they were more than double that who applied in 2014.

All this comes as oil prices finally tumbled, with the market recognising that with U.S. crude stockpiles sitting at an all time high, there was little scope to support a price above $50/bbl.

Chinese stocks were steady, set for a 1.6 percent increase for the week.

Overall the FTSE index moved higher ahead of the USA open with narrow ranges prevailing amid low trading volumes.

Looking ahead, markets will be watching for rate decision from the Swiss National Bank and the Bank of England later in the global trading day as well as US President Donald Trump's 2018 budget blueprint.

The ICE Dollar Index DXY, +0.10% which measures the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, rose 0.1% to 100.63 Thursday.

No.3 Florida State defeats No. 11 FGCU 86-80
The Xavier Musketeers are averaging 74.7 points on 45.5 percent shooting and allowing 71.2 points on 45.1 percent shooting. Florida State would have a stretch forward who could score from inside or outside and protect the rim on defense.

"Policymakers did not accompany the rate hike with the hawkish signals many market participants may have expected and as such, the USA dollar plunged and continued lower during Chair Yellen's press conference [before recovering Thursday]", said Charalambos Pissouros, senior analyst with IronFX Global.

Prices on benchmark 10-year Treasuries rose 17/32 to yield 2.533 percent, from 2.595 percent late on Tuesday.

Global benchmark Brent added nearly 0.1 percent to $51.78 a barrel, headed for a 0.8 percent weekly gain.

US crude settled up 2.4 percent at $48.86 a barrel, after touching a three-month low a day earlier.

Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,201.54 an ounce by 2:59 p.m. EST (1859 GMT), as investors took a wait-and-see approach ahead of the Fed meeting.

'It was amazing' - Sizing John delivers thrilling Gold Cup for Harrington
With her step father as her trainer and her mother part-owner of the horse she is riding, it is very much a family enterprise. She added: "I've never had a runner in the race before so to train the victor - I don't know when I'll come down to earth".

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