Fed raises interest by 0.25 points

The New Zealand dollar extended its decline after this week's Federal Reserve decision to hike interest rates and project further increases in 2017.

GO GREENBACK: The ICE U.S. Dollar index, which tracks the value of the dollar against the euro, Japanese yen and four other currencies, jumped more than 1 percent and touched its highest level since 2002.

"We feel the 25 basis points increase was nearly fully priced in and didn't take market participants by surprise, but the strong market reaction is due to the new Fed projections for 2017, which showed the central bank now expects three rate hikes for 2017 rather than only two factored in by the market in September".

The Fed sees three rate hikes next year instead of the two foreseen as of September, partly as a result of the changes anticipated under President-elect Donald Trump.

"In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the (Federal Open Market) Committee made a decision to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 1/2 to 3/4 percent", said the Fed in a statement after concluding a two-day policy meeting.

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US stocks fell in choppy trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial average closing down about 120 points. Meanwhile, higher interest rates may spill over to increased mortgage rates, which will pile on the financing burden for home buyers.

"What the Fed has actually said and (Federal Reserve chair) Yellen said at the press conference is all still very cautious", said Philip Borkin, senior economist at ANZ Bank New Zealand. "Let me be careful that I am not trying to provide advice to the new administration or to Congress as to what is the appropriate stance of policy", the Fed chair said.

“Remember that previous year, they said they would increase rates four times, ” Taylor says.

Stocks moved firmly higher on Thursday after a knee-jerk selloff late Wednesday tied to the Federal Reserve's rate hike outlook. China's 10-year bond yield also climbed to 3.45 percent, further curbing demand in the world's second-biggest economy. The rise was as expected after increasing 0.4% in October.

Dividend-paying stocks had been big winners in recent years as investors turned to them in search of income given record-low bond yields. USA stocks rebounded from the worst day in two months. The euro fell to $1.0436 from $1.0557, and the British pound fell to $1.2484 from $1.2596. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, lost $1.82 to $53.90 a barrel in London.

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In Europe, Britains FTSE 100 stock index dipped 0.3 percent, while Germanys DAX fell 0.4 percent and Frances CAC 40 lost 0.7 percent.

Gold dropped to its lowest in more than 10 months around $1,135.1 an ounce and last stood at $1,138.

USA mortgage rates have risen by more than 50 basis points since the November election.

On Thursday, the dollar was trading above 117 yen, having topped the 117 level overnight for the first time in 10 months.

The kiwi fell to 4.9283 yuan from 4.9797 yuan late yesterday.

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