Fed chief open to early hike in rates

Treasuries after Yellen placed herself in the camp of those Federal Open Market Committee officials who favor the Fed increases its benchmark interest rates from record lows in 2015.

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US stocks posted a second straight day of declines Wednesday, but trimmed earlier losses to finish only slightly in the red.

Updated government data showed that the U.S. Gross Domestic Product expanded at a revised rate of 3.9 percent in the second quarter.

Yellen said in a speech after markets closed on Thursday that the USA economy is strengthening and that global economic weakness won’t prevent the central bank from hiking interest rates before the year’s end.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 14 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,946 as of 11:04 a.m. Eastern.

Nike soared after the company’s earnings surpassed analyst expectations.

Large banks gained, including Dow member JPMorgan Chase (+2.1 percent), Citigroup (+2.9 percent) and Wells Fargo (+1.8 percent). “It looks like consumers are spending, and businesses are investing”. Since then, the S&P had fallen about 3 percent through Thursday’s close.

Ms Yellen said on Thursday that she and other Fed policy makers did not expect recent economic and financial market turmoil to significantly alter the central bank’s policy, easing concern about the world’s economic health.

In her speech, Fed chief Yellen said she expects to begin tightening policy later this year as long as inflation remains stable and the U.S. economy is strong enough to boost employment.

European markets rebounded Friday, ahead of the announcement of a new CEO at scandal-hit Volkswagen.

Elsewhere, shares in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia were all down more than 3% for the week. In the forward market, the premium for dollar continued its fall.

“Although the U.S.is continuing to improve, outside the U.S.it’s just scary”.

The ICE U.S. Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, rose 0.5% to 96.4670.

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The CBOE Volatility index, known as Wall Street’s “fear gauge”, fell 7.7 percent to 21.69, but remained above its long-term average of 20. Brent Crude, a benchmark for many global oils, fell 11 cents to $48.75 a barrel in London.

Dollar gains after Yellen revives rate hike expectations