Gold Rises to One Week High After Fed Rate Hike

Federal Reserve

The US Federal Reserve has boosted interest rates from 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent in a policy meeting discussing the Fed's predictions and policies for the incoming year of 2018.

Even as the move came as no surprise, analysts as always pored through the Fed's statement for more clues on its thinking that could hint at its future decisions.

Stocks climbed, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.47% to 24,619.7 and the S&P 500 adding 0.22% to 2,669.9.

Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader, told AFP the depreciation "suggests (investors) don't believe the Fed's outlook nor its rate projections".

Fed Chair Janet Yellen says the prospect of tax cuts has been built into Fed forecasts for some time, and the central bank does not expect a major boost to growth.

The departing Fed chair did confess one regret about her (quite successful) tenure - despite years of near-zero interest rates, inflation remains stubbornly below the central bank's 2 percent target.

According to the Fed's quarterly forecasts, the median estimate for economic growth increased from 2.1 percent to 2.5 percent.

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Regional markets declined, with the Straits Times Index ending 32.99 points or 0.95 per cent lower at 3,435.78.

CMC Markets analyst Margaret Yang said the regional malaise was likely due not to the Fed's move but to the People's Bank of China.

The interest rate hike was expected.

The benchmark KOSPI index took off a strong start, staying in positive territory after the Fed's tightened monetary policy.

Fed sees PCE inflation for 2018 at 1.9%.

While the FOMC has been keen to note the robust nature of economic recovery in the United States, thanks to rising global demand, it had always been with underlying caution over the depressed rate of inflation. Healthy economic growth of 3 percent or higher is expected for Q1, Q2, and possibly Q4 of 2018.

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