Fed announces USA rate increase

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The Fed has been raising rates slowly since 2015, moving the United States away from the ultra-low levels put in place following the financial crisis.

The Fed raised its key rate by 25 basis points on Wednesday and flagged at least two more increases this year, stopping short of pointing to three increases that some economists predicted.

While the Fed sounded mildly hawkish with a slightly steeper projection of rates for the next two years, it was compensated for by an improved growth outlook.

"In the long term, both may not expand as much as the Fed expects". The Fed is nearly evenly split between raising rates three or four times.

New Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell has hiked interest rates from 1.5pc to 1.75pc as the USA economy has continued to strengthen.

Policymakers were largely split on Wednesday as to whether a total of three or four rate hikes would be needed this year.

"The labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate", the Fed said in a statement on Wednesday.

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Hence, in its assessment of future growth prospects, the central bank increased its median forecast for US GDP to 2.7 percent (from 2.5 percent earlier) for 2018, and 2.4 percent (from 2.1 percent earlier) for 2019. Not to mention that 2 percent is supposed to be an average, not a ceiling - meaning that actual inflation should be above that level half the time, something that hasn't happened in six years.

The Federal Open Markets Committee, which sets the rate, expects U.S. growth to be stronger than predicted this year, edging up the growth projection from 2.5 to 2.7%. That means possibly four moves this year and next. And it's not just new borrowers who will face higher rates: Anyone carrying an adjustable loan will probably see the monthly payment increase, in step with the Fed's hikes.

"Taking trade restrictive measures will not only impede normal worldwide trade order but also cause serious damage to the multilateral trade system", Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said at a two-day World Trade Organization ministerial meeting that ended on Tuesday. A stronger dollar makes dollar-priced gold costlier for holders of other currencies.

Back, in 2015, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen made news when she announced the bank would increase the federal funds rate to a range between 0.25% and 0.5%. He expects the baht to move with the support lines at 30.80 and 29.25 per dollar, and resistance at 32.40.

"Oil is roaring higher and there is nothing like a bit of geopolitical tension combined with a clear technical break, and an unexpected draw in inventories to push prices", said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader. The Fed's dovish statement supported more market upside, he said.

Spot gold dipped 0.1 percent to $1,330.97 per ounce at 1250 GMT. He said there's no reason to believe that's going to change soon. The euro gained to $1.2269 from $1.2241. Trading turnover was Bt50.4 billion.

Central bankers admitted to being befuddled by the absence of inflation a year ago despite the economic recovery and strong job market, but Wednesday's statement repeated the view that 12-month inflation is expected to move up to the Fed's 2% goal "over the medium term".

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