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The ECB’s Weidmann says Expectations for mid-2019 rate hike is not realistic

The Bundesbank President repeated that the ECB’s policy normalization should start soon, adding again that expectations for a rate hike around the middle of next year are “not unrealistic”. No real surprise there, although there seems a slight delay in the road map towards a rate hike, after Praet recently seemed to hint that he is comfortable with market expectations for a move “next spring”. If mega-hawk Weidmann is aiming more for the middle of next year, there doesn’t seem to be too much of a hurry, even if the general road map for the phasing out of policy measures remains intact, despite trade war jitters and market turbulences.

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Federal Reserve Raises Interest Rates at First Meeting with Powell at Helm

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter point on Wednesday, its first rate hike this year, in a decision that was widely anticipated by markets. The Federal Open Market Committee increased the overnight funds rate to a range of 1.5% to 1.75% in its first meeting with newly-installed Chairman Jerome Powell at the helm. Futures traders had seen an around 90% chance of a rate increase ahead of the meeting, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

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ECB gives up on bigger bond buys en route to stimulus exit

The European Central Bank dropped a long-standing pledge on Thursday to increase its bond buying if needed, taking another small step in weaning the euro zone economy off its protracted stimulus. Keeping its broader policy unchanged, the ECB said it could still extend its 2.55 trillion euro ($3.16 trillion) bond purchase scheme beyond September if needed. But it skipped a reference to bigger purchases, a signal that it remains on track to end a three-year-old stimulus scheme before the end of 2018.

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RBA left interest rates on hold

The Reserve Bank of Australia has left the cash rate at a record-low 1.5 per cent, as sluggish wage growth and inflation put the board in a holding pattern for the 17th meeting in a row. Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe used the word "gradual" to describe Australia's economic recovery three times in his short statement on monetary policy on Tuesday, indicating the bank is in no rush to raise interest rates from their historic lows.

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