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For one thing, the Fed raised its projection on where it expects its benchmark rate to end up in the long run.

An increase in the key interest rate of the US Federal Reserve System (Fed) will not have a tangible impact on the rate of the Azerbaijani manat, Muslim Ibrahimov, doctor of economic sciences, expert in economic issues, said.

In his first news conference as Fed chief, Powell pointed to factors that have boosted the economic outlook in the past few months, including a "more stimulative" fiscal policy, in the wake of the massive tax cuts the US Congress passed in December a year ago.

The federal funds rate is sometimes referred to as the overnight rate, because banks conduct the lending and borrowing after daytime business hours.

For now, his Fed is on track to raise rates at least twice more this year and possibly three times.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell showed he will be guided by the United States economy's performance rather than the theories and models relied upon by his predecessors to set monetary policy for the past three decades.

"The cumulative effect (of rate hikes) can be quite significant", said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com.

USA gold futures GCcv1 for April delivery settled up $5.90, or 0.5 percent, at $1,327.40 per ounce.

Rising interest rates are typically good for savers, who are likely to receive higher interest on the savings they have in the bank.

Jitpol said the Fed made it clear to markets that the pace of rate rises would be at the slower end of expectations, with the signalling for the three increases this year.

However, the range of estimates for the federal funds rate reveal officials are split nearly exactly down the middle, with eight expecting no more than three rate hikes this year and seven projecting four moves or more.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum on Thursday that could impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of imports from China.

Likewise, Tim Foster, fixed income portfolio manager, Fidelity International said the focus was also on the dots plot and Fed's updated economic projections. The statement described economic activity as rising at a "moderate rate", a slight downgrade from January, when the Fed described the economy as rising at a "solid rate". They said they expect to raise interest rates three times next year, an increase from the two increases in 2019 that they forecast in December.

The latest set of quarterly forecasts forecasts showed that policy makers were divided over the outlook for the benchmark interest rate in 2018.

The Fed Chairman said in his press conference that the unemployment rate should continue to sustain at a lower level in order to push inflation higher.

But a host of factors, including the massive tax cuts enacted by Congress, a weaker dollar and robust job creation, suggest that the Fed is likely to adopt a more hawkish policy stance. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced, but the Committee is monitoring inflation developments closely.

"A higher yen is seen weighing on exporters", it added.

"Employment growth has been strong in recent months, and the unemployment rate remains low", says the statement of the Federal Open Market Committee.


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