FTSE rises as hawkish Yellen drives dollar higher

The S&P 500 added 8.07 points, or 0.32 percent, to 2,504.91.

Given all the uncertainties, Yellen said policymakers will have to remain agile and be ready to change their interest-rate assumptions.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said such increases are justified by improvements in the labor market and the conviction that inflation will return to 2 percent by 2019.

In equities, the Shanghai Composite index was recently 0.05% higher at 3,345.30. The Euro remained under a bit of pressure but EUR/USD was above the 5-week low hit Tuesday when investors anxious about more fractured European politics in the wake of Germany's election.

She said: "Without further modest increases in the federal funds rate over time, there is a risk that the labour market could eventually become overheated".

Markets will also be watching for the U.S. pending home sales figures for August, as well as crude oil inventories and speeches from Fed officials James Bullard, Lael Brainard and Eric Rosengren, members deemed likely to present hawkish sentiment.

Whatever the causes, Bostic said that low inflation over the last five years suggests to him that the current stance of Fed policy is not now overly easy. U.S. new home sales eased to 560,000 in August from 580,000 in July.

The US Dollar index, up 0.50% just ahead of Yellen's speech, pared gains to be quoted just 0.38% higher at 93.01 a short time after the remarks were delivered.

Bullion prices ended lower at Comex on Tuesday, 26 September 2017.

The ringgit continued yesterday's downtrend to opened lower against the U.S. dollar this morning as the greenback strengthened on the possibility of another interest rate hike before the year-end, dealers said.

Seoul shares ended lower amid selling by foreign investors as tensions between North Korea and the United States persisted.

Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,290.31/oz by 10.14am GMT after tumbling 1.3% in the previous session to trade near a month low of $1,287.61.

In the other precious metals, the spot silver price rose $0.048 to $16.835-16.88 per oz.

Oil prices remained stable on Wednesday, hovering near 26-month highs hit on Tuesday after USA data showed an unexpected drop in crude stocks as refineries boosted output after threats from Turkey to cut crude exports from Iraq.

Trump and Yellen have met personally, and the president said in July that both Yellen and Cohn were being considered for the job, as well as other candidates. Nymex WTI crude declined 46 cents, or 0.9%, to $51.76 a barrel. Prices on Monday surged 3.1%, with the $52.22 settlement the highest since mid-April.

The Trump administration and Republicans in Congress are due to announce a tax plan later on Wednesday.

  • Zachary Reyes