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How Fed plans to trim its balance sheet

19 June 2017

The BoE's move came just hours after Office for National Statistics data showed retail sales growth falling to its slowest pace since the summer of 2013, both year on year as well as month on month. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 1.2 percent to 25,565.34, but Shanghai's Composite index rose 0.1 percent lower to 3,132.49. Policymakers said the economy was strengthening and that they viewed recent softness in inflation as largely transitory.

The euro was also unchanged at $1.1217, below a seven-month peak of $1.1296 scaled overnight.

U.S. stocks edged lower and prices of U.S. Treasuries pared gains after the Fed's policy statement.

Offshore one-year non-deliverable forwards contracts (NDFs), considered the best available proxy for forward-looking market expectations of the yuan's value, traded at 6.958, 2.48 percent weaker than the midpoint.

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The Fed also mapped out a very gradual approach to shrink its $4.2-trillion holdings of Treasury- and mortgage-backed assets that would allow it to begin as early as September.

She added that the balance sheet normalization could be put into effect "relatively soon". In Britain, the Bank of England saw three of its eight rate-setters vote for a rate increase, a fact that suggests a hike is much closer than many investors had expected. But the central bank remained adamant that economic growth is raising moderately while inflation will start to rise to the bank's 2% target over the medium term.

The Committee now expects to begin implementing of a balance sheet normalisation program this year, provided that the economy evolves broadly as anticipated. The rest of them said it would make such a move at its December 12-13 meeting.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks in Washington, Wednesday, June 14, 2017, to announce the Federal Open Market Committee decision on interest rates following a two-day meeting.

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However, Yellen said business and household confidence remain quite strong, and echoed the statement from the Fed's policysetting Federal Open Market Committee, which repeated its confidence that the U.S. economy would continue to expand "at a moderate pace" even with further gradual rate increases.

In a separate report, the department announced that US import prices declined 0.3 percent in May after increasing 0.2 percent in April, while the price index for USA exports declined 0.7 percent in May following a 0.2-percent advance in April.

Despite today's support, US Dollar traders are still somewhat wary of the latest turmoil surrounding President Donald Trump, specifically news that the special investigator Robert Mueller will be looking into an obstruction of justice charge.

Investors resumed selling the major technology shares that have contributed most to equity records this year, as the threat of higher interest rates prompted a shift from growth into value shares.

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How Fed plans to trim its balance sheet