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Fed Raises Assessment of Economy While Staying Patient on Rates
(Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve boosted its assessment of the economy and played down low inflation while repeating a pledge to stay "patient" on raising interest rates.
The Federal Open Market Committee described the expansion as "solid," an improvement over the "moderate" performance it saw in December. It substituted "strong" for "solid" in its evaluation of job gains after a meeting Wednesday in Washington.
While inflation "is anticipated to decline further in the near term," the FOMC said in a statement, it is likely to rise gradually toward its 2 percent goal "over the medium term" as the impact of low oil prices diminishes. Policy makers also said cheaper energy will help boost consumer buying power.
The Fed's confidence in the outlook for higher inflation and lower unemployment suggests it will stick to plans to raise interest rates this year for the first time since 2006. One caveat: officials will take "international developments" into account when considering an increase, language that contributed to a decline in stocks and Treasury yields.
ECB' Coeure tells Greece: stick to 'rules of game' - paper
Jan 29 (Reuters) - The Greek government must continue to respect its commitments, a senior policy maker at the European Central Bank told an Italian newspaper on Thursday.
Responding to a question from Corriere della Sera whether Athens must continue to meet its financial obligations, Benoit Coeure, a member of the ECB's Executive Board, said: "Greece must continue to abide by the rules of the game."
Coeure also spelt out the benchmark of success that will determine the duration of government bond buying by the ECB, a programme that was announced last week.
"It will end only once we get a strong sense that inflation is converging towards 2 percent." (Reporting By John O'Donnell Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)
Oil Trades Near Six-Year Low Amid Surging U.S. Crude Stockpiles
(Bloomberg) -- Oil traded near the lowest price in almost six years after government data showed U.S. crude stockpiles increased to the highest level since at least August 1982, adding to signs that a global glut will persist.
Futures were little changed in New York after falling 3.9 percent on Wednesday. Crude inventories in the U.S., the world's biggest oil consumer, expanded by 8.87 million barrels to 406.7 million last week, the Energy Information Administration reported. Oil may recover as early as the first half of this year as production is reduced, said Harold Hamm, the chief executive officer of Continental Resources Inc.
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