vaccines

Fed Will Be Tested in 2021 as Vaccines Boost U.S. Economic Outlook | Investing News

(Reuters) – If 2020 was the year the Federal Reserve overhauled its game plan for supporting the U.S. economy, 2021 will be the year its new approach gets tested should a coronavirus vaccine deliver the lift that many analysts expect.

In its final policy meeting of the year this week, the U.S. central bank is expected to keep its key overnight interest rate pinned near zero and to signal it will stay there for years to come; many analysts also expect new guidance on how long the Fed will keep up its massive bond-buying program.

The super-easy monetary policy is part of a long-term strategy the Fed adopted in August to help it navigate a world of persistently low interest rates that limits the central bank’s options for fighting downturns and makes it difficult to hit its 2% inflation goal.

The idea is to counteract any unhealthy downward drag on

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Oil prices edge up on hope vaccines will improve fuel demand

By Florence Tan

SINGAPORE, Dec 14 (Reuters)Oil prices rose on Monday, pushing Brent back above $50 a barrel, buoyed by hopes that a rollout of coronavirus vaccines will lift global fuel demand, while an extension of Brexit talks eased jitters on that front for now.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 for February rose 8 cents, or 0.2%, to $50.05 a barrel by 0137 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures CLc1 for January were up 4 cents, or 0.1%, at $46.61 a barrel.

Oil prices have rallied for six consecutive weeks, their longest stretch of gains since June.

The United States kicked off its vaccination campaign against COVID-19, buoying hopes that pandemic restrictions could end soon and lift demand at the world’s largest oil consumer.

An extension of Brexit talks among European powers also buoyed financial markets on Monday.

CMC Markets’ chief markets strategist Michael McCarthy asked:

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