European Stocks Decline as Traders Assess US Growth Prospects

Its key rates were hiked by 25 basis points to a target range of 1.00% to 1.25%, with the Fed citing continued economic growth and job market strength in the USA as the reasons for the rise.

The revision came just after the Fed raised interest rates Wednesday for the 2nd time in 3 months and said it would begin cutting its holdings of bonds and other securities this year, signaling its confidence in a growing USA economy and strengthening job market. "And even with some moderation in the pace of job growth, we have a labor market that continues to strengthen".

The rise was widely expected, but Fed policymakers suggested they would raise rates again later this year despite signs of cooling inflation.

They lowered projections for 2017 to 1.6% from their March estimate of 1.9%.

The National Financial Supervisory Committee recently forecast the Fed rate hikes, but small increases each time would not insert significant pressure on exchange rates.

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Greg McBride, an analyst with consumer financial site Bankrate.com, tells NPR's Yuki Noguchi that, taken together, the Fed's moves have caused home equity and auto loan rates to increase about 1 percentage point over the last two years.

In the wake of the financial crisis, the central bank added Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities to its balance sheet.

Those factors mean the Fed's preferred inflation measure will remain below the two percent target for some time, but will gradually rise to the target level over "the medium term".

ENERGY: Oil futures had plunged overnight after the USA government said oil supplies shrank only slightly last week while gasoline stockpiles grew. That gauge is called core Personal Consumption Expenditures, and it was up just 1.5 percent in the 12 months ending in April.

The Fed said that while inflation has been low, it is expected to soon hit the 2 percent target.

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The market is expecting one more rate hike by the Fed in the current fiscal year.

Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said the rate increase reflected the "progress the economy has made and is expected to make towards the maximum employment and price stability objectives assigned to us by law".

The gold price in the global market saw huge fluctuations after the Fed rate hikes.

However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.

The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate and the rate to remain below longer run levels.

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