The Fed paints a clearer picture of tightening, the dollar rebounds

US shares were set to be little changed with Dow futures inching up less than 0.1 percent to 22,305. That ran counter to what many expected based on simple supply and demand as the Fed amassed $4.5 trillion of debt and became the single biggest holder of Treasuries.

Traders reacted predictably to what had been a heavily-flagged move from the Fed, which was then followed unsurprisingly in Asia as the Bank of Japan kept its monetary spigots open at full.

The kiwi dollar was little changed at 91.29 Australian cents from 91.25 cents.

Tokyo stocks ended slightly higher on Thursday as banks and exporters chalked up gains thanks to a weaker yen, but Toshiba retreated as it faced a court battle over the $18 billion sale of its prized memory chip business. GDP figures are due out tomorrow and are forecast to show growth accelerated to 0.8 percent in the second quarter from 0.5 percent three months earlier for an unchanged annual growth rate of 2.5 percent.

In its policy statement, the Fed took note of Harvey, Irma and Hurricane Maria, which it said had devastated many communities.

The U.S. central bank is expected to announce when it will begin paring its bond holdings, and while a September interest rate increase is not expected, investors will closely study Fed Chair Janet Yellen's views on inflation for clues whether the Fed will raise rates in December. Rates had previously been cut to a record low after the 2008 financial crisis, helping to fuel a multiyear global stock boom.

But although the dollar has since risen sharply versus the yen, against a basket of major currencies it gained only half a percent last week.

Food companies came under pressure after General Mills reported earnings that missed analyst expectations. The Nikkei jumped 2% to end at 20,299.38, the highest closing level since August 2015.

Peru expels North Korea ambassador over nuclear test blast
Rinse and repeat until Pyongyang has survivable solid-fuel ICBMs with miniaturized thermonuclear warheads. FireEye identified the North Korean group behind the bitcoin attacks as TEMP.Hermit.

Energy shares gained after United States oil prices finished above $50 a barrel for the first time since late July.

"The medium-term narrative for sterling will continue to be dominated by Brexit, with Prime Minister Theresa May's keynote speech in Florence taking center stage on Friday", he said, adding that any further gains in sterling this week would be capped around $1.3680.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ALNY) was a very notable riser, adding nearly 53% to $114.80 as it reported positive Apollo phase 3 results. Earlier in the session, gold hit $1314.36, its lowest since Aug 31.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures lost 1.78% to $17.03 a troy ounce. It bought the bonds to try to hold down mortgage and other loan rates and support a fragile economy.

In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.1 percent, while the CAC 40 in France added 0.1 percent.

S&P 500 futures are 0.25 ahead at the time of writing, while the Nasdaq is 0.75 lower and the Dow Jones is down six points, having closed yesterday up over 30 at 22,370.

People walk past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong, Thursday, April 21, 2017.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.11% with the telecommunication sector suffering the most losses.

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