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  • PIMCO SAYS FORMER FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN BEN BERNANKE PARTICIPATED AT FIRM'S CYCLICAL OUTLOOK FORUM LAST WEEK IN NEWPORT BEACH.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 18- Factory activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region grew at a slower pace in December, a survey showed on Thursday. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index fell to 24.5 from 40.8 the month before. The survey covers factories in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 18- The U.S. dollar rose against major currencies for a second straight session on Thursday after the Federal Reserve signaled it would hike rates next year and the Swiss National Bank's statement that it would introduce negative interest rates. "The dollar strength today is a continuation of the Fed reaction," said currency strategist Vassili...

  • US stocks open higher, building on Fed gains Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 9:44 AM ET

    NEW YORK— The U.S. stock market is opening sharply higher, building on gains from the day before after the Federal Reserve indicated it was in no rush to raise interest rates. The market is coming off its biggest one-day rise since October 2013. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 224 points, or 1.3 percent, to 17,580 as of 9:35 a.m. Eastern time Thursday.

  • LONDON, Dec 18- The Swiss franc tumbled on Thursday after its central bank announced a charge on deposits, wary of a flood of money exiting Russia and likely inflows from the euro zone if the ECB starts full-scale money printing early next year. The jitters of recent weeks calmed a touch as oil rose for a second day, although the pressure was still on Russia's rouble...

  • *Silver up more than 3 pct; platinum, palladium also rise. LONDON, Dec 18- Gold climbed more than 2 percent on Thursday after the Federal Reserve said it would take a patient approach toward raising interest rates, lifting stock markets and commodities while dampening the dollar. A break of stops above $1,200 an ounce sparked a rally in gold in early European trade,...

  • LONDON, Dec 18- The Swiss franc tumbled on Thursday as its central bank slapped a charge on deposits, wary of a flood of money exiting Russia and the likely pressure from the euro zone if the ECB starts full-scale money printing early next year. The jitters of recent days also calmed a touch as Russia managed to stabilise its rouble ahead of an end-of-year address...

  • PARIS, Dec 18- European stocks rose early on Thursday, tracking a rally on Wall Street after the U.S. At 0804 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 1.4 percent at 1,335.46 points. Fed Chair Janet Yellen told a news conference that "patient" meant the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee was unlikely to hike rates for "at least a couple of...

  • TOKYO, Dec 18- Japanese stocks enjoyed their best day in 6-1/ 2 weeks on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve expressed confidence in the U.S. economy and promised a "patient" approach to raising interest rates, boosting Wall Street shares. Exporters Toyota Motor Co and Canon Inc climbed 1.5 percent and 1.7 percent respectively, benefitting from a weaker yen.

  • Fed eyes audit push as key political challenge in 2015 Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 1:00 AM ET

    Federal Reserve is lobbying to stem a rising threat to its independence as the "Audit the Fed" movement, once seen as usual background noise, looks set to gain momentum in 2015 when Republicans gain control of both houses of Congress. Fed officials are making their case for independence across Capitol Hill, reminding politicians of the damage that can come from...

  • Why the Fed thinks US economy still needs its help Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 12:05 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— If you didn't know about the lingering damage from the Great Recession, the U.S. economy would appear remarkably strong. So the U.S. central bank declared it would be "patient" in deciding when to raise its benchmark rate from a record low, where it's been since December 2008. "There is no preset time," Fed Chair Janet Yellen explained at a news conference.

  • *Wall St racks up biggest daily gain this year. SYDNEY, Dec 18- Asian share markets rallied on Thursday after U.S. stocks enjoyed their strongest session this year when the Federal Reserve sounded upbeat on the economy and promised to be patient in removing policy stimulus. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei jumped 2.4 percent, while stocks in Australia climbed 1.8 percent...

  • TOKYO, Dec 18- The dollar took the upper hand on Thursday after the Federal Reserve signalled it was on track to raise interest rates next year, altering a pledge to keep them near zero for a "considerable time" in a show of confidence in the U.S. economy. The dollar index rose to 89.109, flat in Asia but having risen 1.0 percent on Wednesday and coming within a striking...

  • SINGAPORE, Dec 18- Gold hovered near its weakest level in more than two weeks on Thursday after the Federal Reserve signaled it was on track to increase interest rates next year as the U.S. economy strengthens. *Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,189.86 an ounce by 0023 GMT, not far above Wednesday's trough of $1,183.73 which was its lowest point since Dec. 1.

  • 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 U.S. economy and said it would take a patient approach toward raising interest rates. The Fed said it would take a "patient" approach in deciding when to bump borrowing costs higher, which Fed Chair Janet Yellen, at a news conference,...

  • TABLE-Reuters U.S. primary dealer poll results Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 6:46 PM ET

    NEW YORK, Dec 17- These are the results of Reuters poll of U.S. primary dealers following the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Wednesday. For the related story click. Primary Dealer When do Will the Where do Where do Would a.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- Economists at Wall Street's biggest banks remain convinced the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by next June and most expect the Fed to tighten policy more than once in 2015, a Reuters poll found after the U.S. central bank wrapped up a policy meeting on Wednesday. The Fed last raised interest rates in 2006 and has held its target policy...

  • SYDNEY, Dec 18- Asian shares rallied on Thursday after U.S. stocks enjoyed their strongest session this year when the Federal Reserve sounded upbeat on the economy and promised to be patient in removing policy stimulus. In Asia, Nikkei futures were pointing to an opening increase of at least 1 percent, while stocks in Australia climbed 1.1 percent.

  • 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...

  • How the Dow Jones industrial average fared Wednesday Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 4:43 PM ET

    A pledge from the Federal Reserve to remain "patient" when deciding when to lift interest rates gave the stock market its biggest gain in more than a year. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 288 points, or 1.7 percent, to 17,356.87. The Standard& Poor's 500 index climbed 40.15 points, or 2 percent, to 2,012.89.