MOST IMPORTANT NEWS
• The dollar declined on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s January policy meeting showed officials raised their outlook for the economy, adding to confidence that the U.S. economy recovery is sustainable. This is a result of the fiscal package agreed to late in 2010 as well as the end of deflationary concerns
• Sterling fell after Bank of England downgraded its economic outlook in its quarterly inflation report, even as consumer prices spiked higher. That stoked fears of stagflation.
Official Data showed High number of beneficiaries of unemployment benefits in Britain and a slowdown in wage growth. The figures highlight the weakness of the British labor market even before most of the government's austerity measures.
• The euro rose broadly on Wednesday, boosted by steady purchases by Asian central banks
• There are still doubts about the dollar's ability to rise because of Federal Reserve Bank (central bank) ability to keep U.S. interest rates low for a long time.
• Gold futures ended higher Wednesday to highest level in 4 weeks following media reports that Iranian warships were headed to training maneuvers in Syria through the Suez Canal. spurring safe-haven buying
• Overall, the trend for gold is a positive one, Support will continue to come from increases in inflation, growing investment, concern over sovereign debt issues, the U.S. budget presentation, and tensions in the Middle East,” Anything that brings geopolitical instability, that’s the signal for investors to buy gold
• Major stock markets rallied to fresh 30-month highs on Wednesday on strong corporate earnings. The gains followed an earlier jump in. Optimism was strongly spread from the world's leading economy after that its housing sector reported better-than forecasted housing starts for the month of January
• Japan's Nikkei at nine-month high, helped by a weaker yen and buying by foreign investors
• European shares hit highest close in 29 months
• U.S. stocks opened higher Wednesday, boosted after the results of strong earnings from Dell and a wave of mergers and acquisitions
• Crude-oil futures gained Wednesday after the government’s weekly supply report showed a smaller-than-expected increase in inventories, and signs of ongoing tensions in the Middle East continued to prompt investors to buy oil
• Unfolding protests in the Middle East have underpinned oil prices in recent sessions. That included unrest in Bahrain, Iraq and Yemen, among others.