PRECIOUS-Gold climbs after Fed gives no clear signal on rates
Gold hit its highest since mid-November on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve gave no clear signal on the likelihood of a March interest rate increase in its latest statement, prompting another drop in the dollar. The U.S. currency slipped to a 12-week low against a basket of currencies after the U.S. central bank gave an upbeat view on the economy but no hint of accelerating rate hikes.
Middle East and North Africa:
OPEC Cuts Oil Production, But More Work Needed to Fulfill Deal
OPEC cut output by 840,000 barrels a day last month, but has more work to do to fully comply with last year’s historic production deal. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 32.3 million barrels a day in January, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, oil companies and ship-tracking data. The 10 members of the group that pledged to make cuts in Vienna two months ago implemented 83 percent of those reductions on average, but their efforts were offset by increases from Iran, Nigeria and Libya that were permitted under the terms of the agreement.
Bank of England upbeat on growth, inflation worries some rate-setters
The Bank of England boosted its forecast for British growth in 2017 and some rate-setters were more nervous about rising inflation, but the Bank overall seemed in no rush to raise interest rates as the economy adjusts to the prospect of Brexit. In a sign of a developing split, the BoE said some of its rate-setters had "moved a little closer" to their limits for tolerating an overshoot of the Bank’s 2 percent inflation target, caused by sterling’s slide since June’s Brexit vote. But the BoE, announcing its latest quarterly thinking on Britain’s economy on Thursday, sent broader signals that it was comfortable with its record low interest rates.
Singapore Sees Little Growth in Investment This Year
Singapore sees little growth in fixed-asset investments this year after commitments fell to the lowest level since at least 2007, the Economic Development Board said. Capital investment in facilities and equipment planned over the next five years stood at S$9.4 billion ($6.7 billion) last year and should stabilize at around S$8 billion to S$10 billion in coming years, Beh Swan Gin, chairman of the EDB, told reporters in Singapore on Thursday. The EDB didn’t provide data for the period before 2007.