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But it has finally passed 2%, the level the Fed considers healthy.

The euro on Thursday suffered its worst day against the dollar since the UK's Brexit vote almost two years ago after the European Central Bank unexpectedly indicated that it planned to keep interest rates at record lows into the summer of 2019.

Investors now price only a 30 percent chance of an European Central Bank rate hike of 10 basis points by July 2019, compared with a roughly 80 percent chance earlier in the day. The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage climbed to 4.66% this year in May, the highest in seven years, before falling slightly in recent weeks.

Still to come in the economic calendar are Germany and France inflation readings at 0700 BST and 0745 BST respectively. Fed officials project their preferred gauge of inflation hitting 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of this year, compared to 2019 in the March forecast. Not since 1969 has the jobless rate been lower.

After a keenly watched meeting, the United States central bank lifted borrowing costs, as expected, but indicated another two this year and four in 2019 as the world's top economy continues to improve and inflation picks up.

The Fed aims to achieve its mandates of maximizing employment and stabilizing prices by lowering rates to spur growth during times of economic weakness and raising rates to slow growth if the economy threatens to overheat. But if it miscalculates and overdoes the credit tightening, it can trigger a recession. It will become the longest if it lasts past June 2019, at which point it would surpass the expansion that lasted from March 1991 to March 2001.

In past central bank rate increase cycles, "rising real rates eventually led to a drop in rate-sensitive spending, including on durable goods, residential investment and inventories.This time is likely to be no different".

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In fact, Young jubilantly declared while celebrating with an equally garment-averse JaVale McGee, "All summer '18 is shirtless". Later in the day, he made a decision to also take a shot at Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson .

"You have a widening rate differential between the USA and Europe, and the dollar is the beneficiary", said Ed Egilinsky, head of alternative investments at Direxion in NY.

The latest reading of the consumer price index, released Tuesday, showed headline inflation and so-called core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, continuing to rise.

The rise in consumer prices over the previous year has effectively wiped out any wage increases for nonsupervisory workers, the latest consumer price index data suggest. And their rate increases are addressing the "perceived threat of inflation", not an immediate inflation problem, he said.

On Wednesday, they offered an improved forecast for unemployment this year, lowering their forecast to 3.6%.

Powell said it's been a "bit of puzzle" why wages haven't risen faster, but he expressed optimism that American workers will see fatter paychecks as more go back to work.

It's a busy week for the world's top monetary policy makers. Comcast shares ended the session down 0.2 per cent.

The Bank of Japan is set to leave its stimulus setting unchanged on Friday.


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