What you need to take care of on Thursday, March 17:
The American dollar ended the day lower after the US Federal Reserve monetary policy decision. The US central bank hiked rates by 25 bps, as expected, with Bullard being the only dissenter voting for a 50 bps hike. However, the dot-plot now indicates six rate hikes for the year, while Fed officials see the Fed Funds rate at a median of 1.9% at the end of this year and 2.8% at the end of 2024.
Stocks initially fell with the announcement but quickly recovered as chief Jerome Powell sounded optimistic about the economic progress and convinced market participants that the central bank is in control of the situation.
Meanwhile, there has been no real progress in Ukrainian and Russian peace talks. Moscow said they made “significant progress” towards a 15-point peace plan that would include a ceasefire and Russian withdrawal from Ukraine if Kyiv declares neutrality and accepts limits on its military forces. However, Kyiv rejected the proposed neutrality. Also, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ordered Russia to suspend the invasion of Ukraine.
Financial markets remained optimistic, with most global indexes closing in the green. All of the US indexes closed with gains, with the Nasdaq Composite being the best performer by adding over 3%.
US government bond yields continued to pressure the upside. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note peaked at 2.246% to later settle at 2.16%.
The USD/JPY pair hit a fresh multi-year high of 119.11 before retreating towards the current 118.60 price zone.
Gold posted a nice comeback after dipping to $1,895 a troy ounce, now trading at around $1,929.40. Crude oil prices, on the other hand, remained under pressure, and WTI settled just below $95 a barrel.
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