GOLD FIRM BEFORE INFLATION, FED JAWBONING

Inflation Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg say core inflation probably rose 0.2 percent in July. Should they be proven correct when the figures are published at 8:30 a.m. this morning, it would end a four-month string of below-forecast readings. Yesterday, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley cautioned that “it’s going to take some time” for headline inflation to return to the central bank’s 2 percent target. The lack of pickup in inflation, despite low unemployment, remains ...
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Fed says stimulus wind down to begin ‘relatively soon,’ leaves rates unchanged

The Federal Reserve laid the groundwork Wednesday to begin winding down shortly the massive stimulus program it embarked on to rescue the economy from the financial crisis. As expected, the Fed also unanimously declined to raise interest rates this month. After its two-day policy meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee released a statement containing key language that points to starting the move in September. At that time, the central bank will begin rolling off the $4.5 trillion portfolio...
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Oil Climbs as U.S. Supplies Shrink to Lowest Since Start of Year

Oil surged to an eight-week high after the government said U.S. stockpiles shrank to levels last seen at the start of the year. Futures rose 1.8 percent in New York. Crude inventories declined by 7.21 million barrels last week to the lowest since Jan. 6, according to data from the Energy Information Administration Wednesday. Gasoline stockpiles fell for a sixth week to the lowest level since December, the data showed. “The primary driver behind the rally is that you’ve got more inventory d...
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Saudi Arabia Turns Off the U.S. Oil Tap

At last, Saudi Arabia seems to be doing what it takes to reduce the world's most visible oil glut: the one in the U.S. Unfortunately, its renewed vigor comes as OPEC's deal to reduce excess crude stockpiles starts to show signs of unraveling elsewhere, a subject that will be wrestled with by the group's oil ministers as they and other producer nations meet in St Petersburg on Monday. Saudi Slump Weekly U.S. crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia have fallen sharply since early June So...
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Amber Waves of Grain

Of the 14 commodities we track closely at U.S. Global Investors, wheat rose to take the top spot for the first half of 2017, returning more than 25 percent. The grain was followed closely by palladium—used primarily in the production of catalytic converters—which gained 24 percent. To view our ever-popular, interactive Periodic Table of Commodity Returns, click here. Between the start of the year and June 30, the Bloomberg Commodity Index contracted 4.03 percent, with energy weighi...
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Instant View: Yellen – Economy healthy enough for gradual rate rises

(Reuters) - The United States is healthy enough to absorb further gradual rate increases and the slow wind down of the massive bond portfolio accumulated by the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in prepared testimony to be delivered to Congress Wednesday morning. Key Points: * Yellen: Interest rates are rising, and "would not have to rise all that much further" to reach what the Fed considers a neutral rate Comments: RICHARD SCALONE, CO-HEAD OF FORE...
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Fed debating when to unwind $4.5 trillion in bond holdings

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is figuring out when to start unloading much of its $4.5 trillion in bond holdings — a major turning point for an economy still healing from the 2008 financial crisis. Some Fed officials want to announce the beginning of the process "within a couple of months," according to minutes of the U.S. central bank's June meeting released Wednesday. Others pushed for more time to first see how the broader U.S. economy fares during the second half of 2017. What Fe...
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Fed Officials Divided on When to Begin Balance-Sheet Unwind

A divided Federal Reserve policy committee couldn’t reach an agreement in June on the timing of when to begin shrinking its massive balance sheet, according to minutes of the meeting. “Several preferred to announce a start to the process within a couple of months,” the minutes of the June 13-14 meeting released on Wednesday in Washington showed. “Some others emphasized that deferring the decision until later in the year would permit additional time to assess the outlook for economic activity ...
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The Federal Reserve is divided over its longer-term path

While almost all members of the Federal Reserve voted to raise interest rates in June, the central bank appears to be divided over its longer-term plans as data continue to show that the economy is not vigorously responding to its rate increases, released minutes from the Fed’s closed-door June meeting reveal. Even among Fed officials who supported increasing the benchmark interest rate in June, several “indicated they were less comfortable” with the Fed’s longer-term plan for raising rat...
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Some Fed officials want to start reducing assets ‘within a couple of months,’ minutes show

Several Federal Reserve officials wanted to start reducing the trillions of dollars of assets held by the central bank "within a couple of months" to accelerate the return to a more normal monetary policy after years of battling the Great Recession, according to an account released Wednesday of their most recent meeting. But other members of the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee advocated for waiting until later this year to start slowly scaling back the Fed's $4.5-trillion balance s...
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