US Fed keeps interest rates unchanged as inflation remains close to target

The greenback is approaching the 110 yen level not seen since FebruaryMore

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, traded flat in per centage terms.

Many economists believe that the Fed will be forced to raise rates four times this year, rather than the three times it indicated last December. The kiwi traded at 58.50 euro cents from 58.42 cents.

A unanimous vote The decision to maintain the interest rate at 1.5-1.75 per cent was a unanimous 8-0.

However, the catch is the central bank may have signalled its willingness to allow inflation to exceed its 2 per cent goal somewhat by adding a reference to the "symmetric" nature of its target.

Quiet weather for today, but severe weather ramps up next week
Heavy rainfall may also lead to localized flash flooding into eastern Oklahoma, northeastern Texas and western Arkansas. The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for much of central Kansas, extending into southern Nebraska.

So far it has been a strong earnings season, with the year-on-year blended earnings growth estimate coming in at more than 25 per cent in the first quarter for S&P 500 companies, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data, while the equivalent figure for the MSCI EMU index (European Economic and Monetary Union) is 14.6 per cent in dollar terms.

Gold prices have struggled to find momentum as a result of a strong USA dollar, but have managed to hold in a well-established trading range above critical psychological support at $1,300.

"There wasn't any particular news to get it going other than the Fed staying the course, and that contributed to the slide in stock prices", said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist, senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in NY. "The market continues to struggle with conflicting forces, counting awesome earnings, higher rates and fears of a trade war".

The MSCI Emerging Market Index decreased 0.7 per cent to the lowest in more than a week. It omitted earlier language that the economy has strengthened in recent months. Fed policymakers are eyeing gradual rate hikes over the next two years as economic growth and inflation reach their targets. The Fed gradually is tightening credit to control inflation against the backdrop of a tight job market, a resilient economy and a pickup in consumer prices. Experts say the two-percent target is symmetric, meaning it would be equally problematic if inflation lingers too far above or below that level.

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Neither WhatsApp, Facebook, nor third parties can see the content of messages, without access to the sender or recipient's device. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also responded to Koum's post , saying he would miss working closely with him.

Expectations of faster-than-expected rate rises in the USA, as well as a rapid covering of positions by investors short on the dollar, has sent the greenback to its strongest level since mid-January. The Fed had last increased rates in March.

The dollar also scored a three-month peak on the yen at 110.05 overnight, before edging back to 109.63.

Bond prices moved to the upside in late-day trading after spending most of the session lingering near the unchanged line.

Gold increased 0.2 per cent to US$1,306.92 an ounce.

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