The U.S. dollar was nursing losses in Asia on Thursday while bonds held hefty gains as investors scaled back expectations on how fast, and how far, the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates in coming months and years.
Federal Reserve policymakers expressed concern last month that raising interest rates too soon could pour cold water on the U.S. economic recovery, and fretted over the impact of dropping "patient" from the central bank's rate guidance.
The Bank of Japan maintained its massive asset buying stimulus spree on Wednesday and revised up its view on exports and output, even as data showing only a feeble recovery from recession tempers its optimism.
McDonald's Corp. (MCD.N) will open fewer new restaurants in Russia this year than last because a fall in the rouble has increased expansion costs and is hurting consumers, its Russian chief executive Khamzat Khasbulatov told Reuters.
Russia's central bank unexpectedly cut its main interest rate on Friday as fears of recession mount in the country following the fall in global oil prices and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.
U.S. economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter as weak business spending and a wider trade deficit offset the fastest pace of consumer spending since 2006.
The Bank of Japan has put monetary policy on hold and found backing for its wait-and-see stance from advisors to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who worry more easing could send the yen to damagingly low levels, according to officials in the administration and central bank.
Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said Greece, where an anti-bailout party looks set to win a snap election, would continue to need aid and would only get this by sticking to agreements, adding he hoped the new government would not make promises the country could not afford.
Venezuela's deepening economic troubles, and in particular the weakness of the bolivar and restrictive currency controls, have hurt U.S. corporate profits for the fourth quarter of 2014 and are set to inflict further pain this year.
The European Central Bank is poised to announce a plan on Thursday to buy government bonds, resorting to its last big policy tool for breathing life into the flagging euro zone economy and fending off deflation.
Oil prices edged up on Wednesday in a further sign of support around current levels, but analysts said the outlook for the next six months remained bleak due to oversupply.
The Bank of Japan cut next fiscal year's inflation forecast on Wednesday and expanded a loan scheme aimed at boosting lending, acting to deflect criticism that it is sitting idly as slumping oil prices keep inflation well short of its target.
Argentines have been complaining for a while now about the country's product shortages. And, until recently, the government has managed to brush aside such protests, which have centered around Argentina's import restrictions.
After a head-spinning bout of volatility, next week will be dominated by one question: Will the European Central Bank take the ultimate policy leap or pull its punches?
The Obama administration is asking Wall Street to explain why the yields investors are demanding to compensate them for inflation have dropped since August, the U.S. Treasury said on Friday.
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