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Gold prices fall to recent lows as dollar surges

17 June 2018

At various times the parties have also questioned Italy's membership in the euro itself.

Emerging market currencies nearly all seemed to be under pressure.

Euro Zone bond investors responded immediately to the dovish response by the European Central Bank, cutting the chance of a 10 basis point rate hike by July 2019 from 80 percent before the meeting to just 30 percent by the close of the session.

Growth forecasts were revised higher, with the Fed now expecting a slight overshoot of inflation that would warrant short term rates to be marginally higher than their long term level. That is up from previous forecasts of 1.4 percent for this year and 1.4 percent in 2019.

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The ECB is expected to say its $3.00 trillion bond-buying policy has done its job in bringing the 19-member currency bloc back from the brink of collapse, according to Reuters. The contract rose 0.4 percent to $66.64 a barrel in NY on Wednesday. Inflation is surging but this is mainly due to a rapid rise in oil and gas prices.

The euro's 5 percent fall against the dollar since April is also helping the European Central Bank as the weaker currency is increasing the cost of imports and boosting inflation.

"We didn't discuss when to raise rates", he said, adding there was an "undeniable increase in uncertainty" for policy-makers to contend with, a possible reference to rising trade tensions between the United States, Europe and China. Higher rates can stave off inflation, but they can also hinder economic growth.

The program, under which the central bank has been buying tens of billions of bonds each month, helped support the economy by keeping borrowing costs low for households and businesses.

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The ECB now plans to reduce monthly asset purchases between October and December to 15 billion euros until the end of 2018 and then conclude the programme, though ECB President Mario Draghi stressed that the governing council stood ready "to adjust all its instruments as appropriate".

Moreover, the President of the European Central Bank committed to subdued interest rates at record low levels for "as long as necessary" to reach the 2% target rate of inflation.

Sterling steadied above its lowest level since November, after strong USA retail sales and a more hawkish Federal Reserve earlier this week boosted the dollar and underlined policy divergence between the countries. It had deployed the program in 2015 to save the region from the risk of falling prices and growth, and as Greece's debt crisis raised questions about the euro's future.

While the Fed and the ECB provided much of the week's central bank fireworks, the Bank of Japan is expected to produce no surprises at the end of a two-day policy meeting today.

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"The meeting marks another important step towards a gentle end to QE but at the same time, it does not mark the start of monetary tightening" that could dampen economic activity, said ING Diba bank analyst Carsten Brzeski. The purchases are slated to run at least through September, and longer if necessary.

Gold prices fall to recent lows as dollar surges