Dollar surges as Fed ends QE on hawkish note

Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:57pm EDT
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By Yasmeen Abutaleb

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar surged to a three-week high and government bond yields rose on Thursday, one day after the U.S. Federal Reserve took a more hawkish tone in its assessment of the economy as it announced the end of its six-year bond-buying program.

Global equity markets rose, led by a late-day surge on Wall Street, following the release of surprisingly strong third-quarter economic growth in the United States.

The Fed's decision to halt new purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities had been expected. But investors were somewhat surprised by the central bank's expression of confidence in the U.S. recovery, despite global growth concerns. The policy statement prompted markets to rethink the growing consensus that the Fed's first interest-rate hike would not be until late in 2015.

The Fed did note in its statement Wednesday after its meeting that overnight borrowing costs would remain near zero for a "considerable time."

"The tone in the statement was relatively more hawkish than had been anticipated," said Mohannad Aama, managing director of Beam Capital Management LLC in New York. "

The dollar .DXY rose 0.2 percent against a basket of six major currencies and also rose 0.2 percent against the euro, to $1.2607. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield rose 4/32 in price to yield 2.3085 percent.

MSCI's index .MIWD00000PUS of equities in 45 countries rose 0.1 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 221.11 points, or 1.3 percent, to 17,195.42, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 12.35 points, or 0.62 percent, to 1,994.65, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 16.91 points, or 0.37 percent, to 4,566.14.   Continued...

The London Stock Exchange building is seen in central London September 24, 2009.    REUTERS/Stephen Hird