European stock markets pushed higher Thursday as traders had their first chance to respond to the U.S. Federal Reserve's widely anticipated decision to cut its benchmark interest rate for the second time this year.
Among ongoing risks are the continuing uncertainty over Brexit and notes that trade policy uncertainties "have waxed and waned" since the last meeting in July.
The markets seem to be loving what the Fed Chair is saying and the US Dollar is adding to its gains.
The policy statement and updated quarterly forecasts will be released at 2 pm in Washington and Chairman Jerome Powell will brief the press 30 minutes later.
New projections showed Fed policymakers at the median expected rates to stay within the new range through next year.
Kansas City Fed President Esther George and Boston's Eric Rosengren are likely to dissent, as they did against the rate cut in July, favoring no move.
Just past year, the Fed was tapping on the economy's brakes.
ENERGY: Oil prices were steady as Saudi Arabia said it was restoring production at an oil facility attacked over the weekend.
Robert O'Brien replaces John Bolton as Trump's national security adviser
O'Brien, Trump's fourth national security advisor, was chosen from a list of five candidates Trump said were under consideration. He has also been the only US official consistently working on releasing Americans imprisoned in Iran .
Airports closed in Bahamas as Tropical Storm Humberto threatens
It was 135 miles north-northwest of the northwestern Bahamas , with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, the U.S. Although the hurricane will not be making landfall for the USA and Bahamas, they will still feel its effects.
Nearly 50000 UAW Employees Strike Against General Motors
Workers at GM are reading tea leaves and official press releases, just like the media, and that's no way to win a massive strike. GM did have a 54-day strike at a key plant in Flint, Michigan, in 1998 that effectively shut down most of its assembly plants.
The committee could ratify the view that rates will be lower for longer by edging its estimate of the so-called neutral rate which neither spurs nor brakes the economy.
An index of manufacturing activity for August reflected contraction for the first time since 2016.
"They have been using boilerplate language "solid" in describing the labor market, but that's becoming harder to support and could be downgraded", said Neil Dutta, head of U.S. economics at Renaissance Macro Research. "We are not on a pre-set course, we are going to be making decisions meeting by meeting", Powell said, adding that the Fed would stop cutting rates "when we think we've done enough".
Consumer confidence continues to drive US economic activity, Fed Chair Jerome Powell and says the FOMC chose to cut the federal funds target rate by a quarter of a point to help keep the economy strong and as "insurance against ongoing risks".
The effective or average interest rate on what banks charge each other to borrow reserves overnight fell to 2.25% on Wednesday, from 2.30% on Tuesday, which was above the Fed's current target range of 2.00%-2.25%, according to the N.Y. Fed data.
It could make another adjustment to the interest rate it pays on excess reserves by reducing it by more than amount it cuts the fund rate.
In a hint that the Fed might soon take bigger steps, Powell said strains in funding markets had been bigger than expected, and that the central bank could need to resume increases to the Fed's balance sheet "earlier" than previously thought.