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Gold extends its fall, as Jerome Powell's comments lift dollar

02 March 2018

After his comments highlighting the strengthening economy roiled financial markets on Tuesday amid concerns the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates at a faster pace, Powell made it clear that gradual rate hikes would allow the economy to continue to expand.

However, with higher inflation comes interest in all three of those. Jobless claims fell to the lowest level since 1969, underscoring a tightening labor market.

What are the main benchmarks doing? The Nikkei in Japan added 1.1 percent, riding the momentum of Monday's United States equity gains. Industrials shares were leading the losses, down 0.9%. The Nasdaq composite fell 127 points, or 1.8 percent, to 7,142.

The Dow gave up 4.3% in February, notching its biggest monthly drop in more than two years and paring its advance over the past 12 months to 20%.

Investors said the markets were also adjusting to Powell, whom President Donald Trump chose to replace Janet Yellen, an appointee of his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.

The New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley is scheduled to deliver "Remarks on Trade and Globalization" at a Central Bank of Brazil event in Sao Paulo, Brazil at 16:00 GMT.

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His comments on Tuesday sparked a jump in US bond yields and a drop in USA stocks as investors took his bullish statements about the economy as a signal the Fed would raise rates four times this year, as opposed to the three increases policymakers projected in December.

The dollar meanwhile has taken heart from the Fed chair's comments.

What else could help drive markets?

The losses in Asia came amid a broad selloff on Wall Street, where the Dow and S&P 500 capped their worst months since January 2016 overnight after suffering sharp losses early in February.

But the Bank of Japan and European Central Bank could act as counterweights - euro zone inflation for February at 1.2 per cent showed on Wednesday that the ECB's near-2-per cent target remains years away.

The dollar rose to five-week highs on Wednesday on the prospect of tighter monetary policy and an upbeat US economic outlook from the Federal Reserve's new chief, while global equity markets slid on declines by China's Tencent and Celgene Corp.

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Stocks globally snapped a record 15-month winning streak, pulled lower by Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings because of its large stake in Singapore-based Sea Ltd, an online gaming and e-commerce firm, and Celgene. Also at 10 a.m. dropped 5.5 percent after the online retailer disclosed in a regulatory filing that the Securities and Exchange Commission asked the company last month for information about a $250 million offering by its blockchain subsidiary, tZero, related to digital tokens. A reading of at least 50 indicates improving conditions.

The Conference Board U.S. Consumer Confidence Index increased in February, following a modest increase in January.

The benchmark S&P 500 .SPX shed its gains during his testimony and ended the day down 1.3 percent.

Which stocks look like key movers?

Asian shares were mostly lower Thursday as sentiments got dragged down by a slide on Wall Street.

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He added: "Changes concern the entire civilization, and the sheer scale of these changes calls for an equally powerful response". At some point, it seemed that a compromise can be found, - said Putin . "I can say that the tests were successful", he said.

Toronto-Dominion Bank also rallied after reporting quarterly earnings that beat market expectations.

Gold extends its fall, as Jerome Powell's comments lift dollar