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  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- The U.S. dollar posted its biggest daily gain against major currencies since early October on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve signaled it was on track to hike interest rates sometime next year. "Markets are taking the dollar higher, as they should be, because the Fed is on track to hike rates in 2015," said Win Thin, currency strategist at Brown...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- The S&P 500 scored its best day since October 2013 on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve gave an upbeat assessment of the economy and said it would take a patient approach toward lifting interest rates. "This is the market saying,' Ah, I get it,' the Fed does not want to be in the business of disruption, this is a steady monetary policy and the Fed will continue...

  • COLUMN-Fed playing patience as inflation lags: James Saft Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 4:34 PM ET

    Dec 17- Call it patience or any of the rest of the seven virtues if you like, but the truth is that the Fed can't raise interest rates because inflation won't play along. The Federal Reserve said on Thursday it is prepared to be "patient" before hiking rates but that this means the same as its former future guidance of a "considerable time." Fed chair Janet Yellen at the...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- U.S. stocks rallied on Wednesday, giving the S&P 500 its best day since October 2013 as the Federal Reserve gave an upbeat assessment of the economy and said it would take a patient approach toward lifting interest rates.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- U.S. stock prices jumped and the dollar strengthened on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve signaled America's economy was strong enough to handle interest rate hikes at some point in 2015, but emphasized that shifts in policy would be gradual. Wall Street, coming off three days of declines, had risen with steep gains in energy stocks even before...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- U.S. stocks were up more than 1 percent in Wednesday afternoon trading as the Federal Reserve gave an upbeat assessment of the economy and said it would take a patient approach toward lifting interest rates, a view that investors embraced. Stocks extended sharp gains following the statement but pared some of that increase heading into the close...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- The U.S. dollar rallied against major currencies after the Federal Reserve's latest policy statement and comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen signaled the central bank was on track to hike rates next year. The euro was last down 1.28 percent against the dollar at $1.2346 after hitting $1.2322, its lowest level against the greenback since Dec. 9.

  • SAO PAULO, Dec 17- Grupo BTG Pactual SA's Chilean unit obtained a permanent banking license to operate in the country on Wednesday, allowing Latin America's largest independent investment bank to start operations in Chile by the end of January. In a statement, BTG Pactual said the unit, known as Banco BTG Pactual Chile, wanted a full banking license in Chile to "grow...

  • US STOCKS-Wall St adds to gains as Fed upbeat on economy Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 2:26 PM ET

    NEW YORK, Dec 17- U.S. stocks extended gains on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve gave a strong signal that it was on track to raise interest rates sometime next year, suggesting confidence in the U.S. economy. "It's pretty upbeat on the economy, and that's what the stock market is reacting to," said John Canally, investment strategist and economist at LPL Financial...

  • Dow jumps after Fed pledges patience in rate hikes Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 2:24 PM ET

    NEW YORK— The Dow Jones industrial average surged as much as 300 points after the Federal Reserve signaled it was edging closer to raising interest rates because of a strengthening U.S. economy, but promised to be "patient" in its approach. The Fed says this approach is consistent with what it called its "previous" guidance that it expected to keep the rate near zero...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- U.S. stocks extended gains on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve gave a strong signal that it was on track to raise interest rates sometime next year, suggesting confidence in the U.S. economy.

  • Fed to be 'patient' about a rate hike; stocks soar Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 2:07 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— The Federal Reserve is edging closer to raising interest rates from record lows given a strengthening U.S. economy. At a news conference afterward, Chair Janet Yellen said she foresaw no rate hike in the first quarter of 2015.. "The Fed is sending the message that the broader U.S. economy is on the path toward healing," said Steven Ricchiuto, chief...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 17- The Federal Reserve on Wednesday offered a strong signal that it was on track to raise interest rates sometime next year, dropping a pledge to keep them near zero for a "considerable time" in a show of confidence in the U.S. economy. In doing so, it looked beyond economic difficulties in the euro zone, Japan and Russia and offered a mostly upbeat...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 17- The U.S. credit union regulator said on Wednesday it filed a lawsuit against U.S. Bank and Bank of America over mortgage securities sold in the years leading up to the financial crisis. The regulator accused U.S. Bank and Bank of America of knowing about defects in the mortgage loans but not providing required notices to the investors.

  • UK government to sell more shares in Lloyds bank Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 12:13 PM ET

    LONDON— The British government plans to sell a 3 billion pound chunk of its stake in part-nationalized Lloyds Banking Group, which was bailed out by taxpayers during the 2008 financial crisis. It says sales could begin within days and the plan, overseen by Morgan Stanley, will continue for about six months. Lloyds shares closed 1.5 percent lower at 75.35 pence...

  • FOREX-Dollar recovers ahead of Fed; rouble off lows Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 10:58 AM ET

    NEW YORK, Dec 17- The U.S. dollar rebounded against major currencies on Wednesday on expectations that the Federal Reserve would signal rate hikes were on track, while the rouble recovered as buyers stepped in to pick up the Russian currency at cheaper levels. "The market is preparing itself for a change in the Fed language," said currency strategist Mark McCormick...

  • Dec 17- U.S. stocks are expected to climb in 2015 as concerns about the prospect of a Federal Reserve interest-rate hike are being offset by hopes for strong consumer spending as oil prices fall, according to a Reuters poll. That would represent a near 12 percent rise for 2015 from a Dec. 16 close of 1,972.74. "The market's ability to withstand higher rates is the big...

  • RUSSIA CENTRAL BANK SAYS GIVES BANKS RIGHT TO NOT CREATE LOAN-LOSS PROVISIONS IF THE CHANGES IN THEIR FINANCIAL CONDITION ARE CAUSED BY SANCTIONS.

  • RUSSIA CENTRAL BANK SAYS TOGETHER WITH GOVT IS PREPARING MEASURES TO PROVIDE BANKS WITH ADDITIONAL CAPITAL IN 2015.

  • *Lenders lift markets in Qatar, Abu Dhabi. DUBAI, Dec 17- Most Gulf stock markets regained strength on Wednesday as oil's slide paused, with blue chip banks pushing Abu Dhabi up sharply and Saudi Arabia's bourse jumping after the kingdom's finance minister said the government would continue spending heavily. Brent crude held below $60 a barrel on Wednesday, at...

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