Fed raises rates and sets plan to shrink balance sheet 'this year'

Fed policymakers have raised their benchmark rate to a range of 1 per cent to 1.25 per cent and indicated that they foresee one additional hike this year, assuming that the economy remains on solid footing.

"That's probably behind Kashkari's dissent in terms in wanting to keep rates where they were, but they didn't seem terribly anxious", she said.

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m.

She declined to say whether she would like to serve a second term. Her term ends in February.

Thus, we may be facing another two years of negative real policy rates in the U.S. and UK.

The announcement that the Fed plans to begin paring its balance sheet later this year - "provided that the economy evolves broadly as anticipated" - involves its enormous portfolio of Treasury and mortgage bonds. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was 2.12 percent, the same as shortly before the statement came out.

Mueller investigating Trump for possible obstruction
When West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin asked Rosenstein if Mueller could be "terminated without cause", Rosenstein said "yes". He also told lawmakers that Trump was not personally the target of an investigation while he was still the head of the FBI .

At the depths of the recession, the Fed began buying Treasury and mortgage bonds to try to depress long-term loan rates. The Standard & Poor's 500 closed at 2,437.92 for a loss of 2.43 points or 0.10%. In 3.31pm trading in NY, the Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a 0.05 percent gain.

Stocks closed little changed on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate as investors had expected. They are just catching up with reality: The jobless rate has dropped with unexpected speed — to a 16-year-low 4.3 percent in May.

Kashkari said three weeks ago the country is getting closer to maximum employment but that he would have more confidence lifting rates if inflation was closer to the Fed's target rate of 2 percent.

They increased their projections for economic growth this year to 2.2 percent from the 2.1 percent they forecast in March.

Gold futures have climbed 11 percent this year amid growing doubts that President Donald Trump's economic agenda, including tax cuts, will make it through Congress.

A retreat in inflation over the past two months has caused jitters among some Fed officials who fear that the shortfall, if sustained, could alter the pace of future rate hikes. Many of them have reached for higher rates of return by investing in the risky assets.

Shooting at GOP event: Rep Steve Scalise, aide shot in Virginia
A bystander with a cellphone camera happened to be recording at the time the first shots started, and captured the event. The game is scheduled to be played at Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals Major League baseball team .

Lael Brainard, a Fed governor, said in late May that if inflation remains soft she may reassess the path forward for monetary policy, even as the global economic outlook brightens and US growth looks poised to rebound.

If the Fed raises concerns regarding the economic situation of the U.S., however, it might be seen as a step down from its three-hike agenda for 2017, and gold prices might actually increase in the aftermath of the meeting instead of declining.

The latest Fed rate hike, announced in a statement after a policy meeting, comes as the US economy is growing only sluggishly.

Fed officials are wrapping up their two-day June meeting. The central bank had pushed rates to near zero in response to the financial crisis.

The economy grew at a rate of 1.2 percent in the first quarter of this year, about half as fast as it did in the final three months of 2016.

A policeman walks past the U.S. Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C, January 30 2008.

Ireland's Leo Varadkar takes office as new prime minister
Mr Kenny, from Castlebar, Co Mayo, took over as Fine Gael leader in 2002 when the party suffered near annihilation at the polls. After that, he worked as Fine Gael's minister for transport, tourism, and sport, and then as health minister.

Germany's DAX index is up 0.4 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 0.1 percent.

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