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  • NEW YORK, March 18- Oil prices jumped as much as 5 percent on Wednesday as the dollar fell after the Federal Reserve indicated it preferred a more gradual path to normalizing U.S. interest rates despite being open to the first rate hike in almost a decade. Brent closed up $2.40, or 4.5 percent, at $55.91 a barrel, after rallying more than $3 after the Fed statement.

  • NEW YORK, March 18- The dollar tumbled across the board on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve signaled an interest rate increase as early as June but slashed interest-rate projections over the next few years and downgraded its outlook for the U.S. economy. As expected, the U.S. Central Bank dropped the word "patient" from its statement in terms of raising interest...

  • ANALYSIS-ECB's money printing may stymie cash generators Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 3:00 PM ET

    LONDON, March 18- The European Central Bank may well be printing money via its landmark government bond buying programme, but it could also be destroying some of the financial system's own printing presses in the process. Little over a week after the ECB launched its 1 trillion euro' quantitative easing' campaign, financial markets are fretting that there is a...

  • *SPDR Gold Trust dropped 0.4 pct on Tuesday. NEW YORK/ LONDON, March 18- Gold prices surged more than 2 percent on Wednesday, on track for the biggest rally since January after the Federal Reserve signaled a more cautious outlook for U.S. economic growth, and the dollar tumbled. "The Fed is now on the launching pad at Cape Canaveral; however, whether the mission is Apollo...

  • WASHINGTON, March 18- The Federal Reserve on Wednesday opened the door further for an interest rate hike as early as June, ending its pledge to be "patient" in normalizing monetary policy. But the U.S. central bank signaled a more cautious outlook for U.S. economic growth and slashed its projected interest rate path, in a sign that it remains concerned about the...

  • *Prices for new homes in China fell at record pace in Feb. LONDON, March 18- Copper took its biggest fall since late January on Wednesday, weighed down by economic weakness in top consumer China and expectations the Federal Reserve will prepare the ground for an increase in U.S. interest rates. In China there was more evidence of economic weakness after prices for...

  • BUENOS AIRES/ NEW YORK, March 18- Argentina will not allow Citigroup Inc. to exit its local custody business, a senior source in the government said on Wednesday, setting up a possible showdown between the leftist government and the banking giant over sovereign debt payments. The bank has found itself at the center of a bitter court battle between Argentina and a...

  • NEW YORK, March 18- Stocks on Wall Street slipped and shares in Europe rose on Wednesday, reflecting diverging policies between the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, while oil prices fell as data showed U.S. crude inventories hit a record high. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares rose 0.33 percent to close at a provisional 1,589.07,...

  • *Alibaba shares little changed as lockup expires. *FedEx falls after lower outlook. NEW YORK, March 18- U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday ahead of a highly anticipated statement and news conference by the Federal Reserve later in the session, with the Fed seen giving clearer clues on how soon it plans to tighten monetary policy.

  • Riksbank cuts rates to be on 'safe side'   Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 11:45 AM ET
    Riksbank cuts rates to be on 'safe side'

    Riksbank has cut its rates again -- to negative 0.25 percent. Stefan Ingves, Governor of Sveriges Riksbank, said they weren't in a currency war, but that inflation has been quite low for a while, and the Riksbank wants to be on "the safe side."

  • PRECIOUS-Gold steady as Fed seen readying for rate rise Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 11:24 AM ET

    LONDON, March 18- Gold prices were steady on Wednesday, staying near four-month lows, as investors remained cautious pending the conclusion of a Federal Reserve meeting that may stoke expectations for a mid-year rise in U.S. interest rates. said Adrian Ash, head of research at online dealer BullionVault.com. Spot gold was unchanged at $1,148.10 an ounce by 1514...

  • STOCKHOLM, March 18- Sweden's central bank cut its key repo rate further into negative territory on Wednesday and expanded its bond purchases, saying it was ready to take more measures as a stronger crown threatened to snuff out a pick up in inflation. Sweden's central bank has slashed rates to historic lows to reverse a year-long fall in consumer prices.

  • LONDON, March 18- Britain will raise at least 9 billion pounds selling shares in Lloyds Banking Group in the coming year as it looks to recover 66 billion pounds of taxpayers' money spent bailing out banks in the financial crisis. Britain spent 20.5 billion pounds rescuing Lloyds during the crisis of 2007-9, leaving it with a 41 percent shareholding.

  • NEW DELHI/ MUMBAI, March 18- India plans to strip its central bank of authority to regulate government bonds but leave it in charge of other money market instruments, setting the stage for a confrontation with Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan. What would be the biggest regulatory shakeup in a generation is expected to overshadow policy meetings...

  • Sweden stocks touch record highs on new rate cut Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 11:38 AM ET
    Swedish Krona currency.

    Sweden's benchmark OMXS30 equity index touched new record highs on Wednesday after the country's central bank cut its key repo rate and expanded an asset-purchase program.

  • NEW YORK, March 18- U.S. stocks retreated at the open on Wednesday ahead of a highly anticipated statement and news conference by the Federal Reserve, with the Fed expected to give clearer clues on how soon it plans to tighten monetary policy.

  • *Sterling sinks after BoE minutes, decline in wage growth. *Dollar steady as Fed meeting winds up. LONDON, March 18- Sterling fell as the Bank of England waded into the debate over the relative value of major currencies on Wednesday, warning about its impact on inflation before a Federal Reserve meeting that may yet do the same.

  • LONDON, March 18- European shares fell for a second day on Wednesday, with BMW leading carmakers lower after toning down its profit expectations and Greek banks falling on concern about the country's debt situation. The Greek banking index fell 8.4 percent, dragged down by a 12 percent fall in National Bank of Greece and an 8.9 percent slide in Alpha Bank.

  • *Prices for new homes in China fell at record pace in Feb. LONDON, March 18- Copper hit a three-week low on Wednesday on poor prospects in top consumer China and ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting expected to lay the groundwork for an increase to U.S. interest rates. In China there was more evidence of economic weakness after prices for new homes fell at the fastest...

  • US STOCKS-Futures slip ahead of Fed statement Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 7:44 AM ET

    NEW YORK, March 18- U.S. stock index futures fell on Wednesday ahead of a highly anticipated statement and news conference by the Federal Reserve later in the session, with the Fed expected to give clearer clues on how soon it plans to tighten monetary policy. *A Fed statement is due at 2:00 p.m. EDT, with a press conference by Chair Janet Yellen half an hour later.

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