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US dollar rises following Fed’s decision to raise interest rate

By Reuters - Sep 27,2018 - Last updated at Sep 27,2018

Amazon opens a new store where everything for sale is rated 4 stars and above, is a top seller, or is new and trending on Amazon.com in the SoHo neighbourhood of New York on Thursday (AFP photo)

NEW YORK — The US dollar rose to touch a one-week high against a basket of major currencies on Thursday following a hike in US interest rates, while a robust economy and surging shares of Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. boosted the US stock market.

The Federal Reserve (Fed) on Wednesday raised rates for the third time this year, indicating its confidence in the US economy.

That sentiment carried the dollar higher into a second day and dented the euro, which was further pressured by worries about Italy’s budget.

“The Fed is moving faster than most central banks and that’s dollar-supportive,” said Erik Nelson, currency strategist, at Wells Fargo Securities in New York.

The dollar index, tracking it against six major currencies, rose 0.68 per cent, while the euro dipped 0.6 per cent to $1.1668.

The greenback hit a two-week peak against the Swiss franc and Canadian dollar.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 117.28 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 26,502.56, the S&P 500 gained 15.89 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 2,921.86 and the Nasdaq Composite added 68.42 points, or 0.86 per cent, to 8,058.79.

Apple rose 2.5 per cent, the biggest boost to the three main indexes after JP Morgan started coverage of the stock with an “overweight” rating.

Amazon.com rose 1.5 per cent after brokerage Stifel talked up its businesses.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.17 per cent.

 

Italy

 

Reports that Italy’s long-awaited budget was facing delay initially dented European shares, which then recovered. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index rose 0.48 per cent. 

Italy’s main Milan bourse slumped as much as 2 per cent, and was last down 0.6 per cent, with the country’s big banks sinking even more as the country’s borrowing costs hit a three-week high in the government bond markets. 

Rome confirmed that a cabinet meeting over budget targets was still planned for later, dismissing an earlier report in the Corriere della Sera newspaper that it could be delayed.

Still, Italy’s economic ministry was forced to deny that its chief Giovanni Tria, an academic who does not belong to any one party, had threatened to resign.

“It is very fluid and it is changing by the minute it seems,” head of EMEA macro strategy at State Street, Tim Graf, said.

“Even if things get resolved positively today, Italy is not a situation that is going to go away,” he added, pointing to the growing popularity of the country’s fractious anti-establishment coalition government.

Japan’s Nikkei briefly touched an eight-month high as signs that the United States may not impose further tariffs on Japanese automotive products for now lifted carmakers, though the index eventually ended down nearly 1 per cent.

Oil edged higher, driven by the prospect of a shortfall in global supply once US sanctions against major crude exporter Iran come into force in just five weeks’ time.

US crude rose 0.43 per cent to $71.88 per barrel and Brent was last at $81.01, up 0.27 per cent.

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