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Gold hits eight-month low after Fed hints at faster rate rises - business live

Rolling business and financial news, as global investors digest the Federal Reserves latest policy statement, and the Scottish independence poll

Most European stock markets have gained ground this morning, with the German DAX up 0.8% and the French CAC up 0.5%.

The FTSE 100 is lagging, though, up just 12 points or 0.2%. The Scottish referendum may be weighing on the City.

Back on the gold price, and this chart shows how bullion has lost 9% of its value since early July, and 12% since March.

The decline came as investors brace for the US Federal Reserve to end its quantitative-easing bond-buying spree, and then raise interest rates next year.

In the City, traders are dashing to protect themselves from being burned by the Scottish independence referendum which began two hours ago.

The cost of buying overnight protection against sterling volatility has soared this morning, according to Reuters data:

The overnight sterling/dollar implied volatility rose to a high of 34.75 percent, almost 10 times levels seen a month ago, having closed on Wednesday at around 12.75 percent.

The overnight options will expire on Friday, when results for the Scotland vote will be announced.

Alex Salmond going in to cast his vote in the village where he lives #indyref pic.twitter.com/yudo2CgPiG

And guessing this business bracing for a busy night �� pic.twitter.com/E0DjiC0OP3

Switzerlands central bank has declared that it will immediately take action to prevent the Swiss franc appreciating any higher.

The SNB voted to leave interest rates unchanged at 0.0%, but also warned that economic conditions have worsened.

The economic outlook has deteriorated considerably. The Swiss franc is still high. With the three-month Libor close to zero, the minimum exchange rate remains the key instrument to avoid an undesirable tightening of monetary conditions. The SNB will therefore continue to enforce the minimum exchange rate with utmost determination.

For this purpose, it is prepared to purchase foreign currency in unlimited quantities. If necessary, it will take further measures immediately.

Talk of negative Swiss rates isn't followed up with action...for now at least. No policy change from SNB, Swiss franc rises.

Overnight, the International Monetary Fund has warned that the global recovery is precarious.

It told G20 finance minister and bank chiefs that excessive risk taking and geopolitical hazards pose new threats to the global economy, and cut its growth forecasts for this year.

Bloomberg also reports that the gold price was hit by the Feds forecast that rates will rise more rapidly in 2015 and 2016 (even if theres a considerable pause before the first hike)

Higher rates are becoming a reality, Chris Gaffney, the senior market strategist at EverBank Wealth Management in St. Louis, said in a telephone interview. The sentiment is turning very very bearish.

#Gold Falls to Eight-Month Low as Fed Raises Rate Estimate http://t.co/ImNWCB1zLZ

Heres Reuters take on the falling gold price:

Gold tumbled to its lowest in 8-1/2 months on Thursday as the dollar index jumped to a four-year peak after the Federal Reserve signalled that a faster hike in U.S. interest rates might be on the horizon.

The Fed on Wednesday renewed its pledge to keep interest rates near zero for a considerable time, but also indicated it could raise borrowing costs faster than expected when it starts moving.

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the financial markets, the world economy, business and finance.

The US dollar is rallying this morning after the Federal Reserve signalled last night that US interest rates will rise faster than expected, once the hiking begins.

In commodities, Gold has taken another dive to $1217/oz, its lowest since January, after the US Fed increased its interest rate projections, spurring USD gains which made the safehaven more expensive.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Yellen comments boost U.S. stocks; gold falls

Gold falls to lowest since January http://t.co/UO5jHNjpqI

The labor market is still struggling to recover, Yellen said to reporters on Wednesday. There are too many people who want jobs but cannot find them too many people who are not searching for a job but would be if the labor market were stronger.

Fed in no hurry to raise interest rates as it details gradual plans to exit stimulus

What else is afoot today?...

The message that Hardouvelis is sending to Germany and Greeces other creditors in an interview to be published on Thursday in German newspaper Handelsblatt is that the country is able to refinance its requirements by itself.

Just a few days before a meeting between the Greek and German heads of government, Antonis Samaras and Angela Merkel, Hardouvelis argued that Greece does not need a third bailout package, noting that the country is able to borrow from markets at a cost below that of the loans from the International Monetary Fund....

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Scottish independence referendum: mapping the mood in Scotland

Weve been hearing from our readers about the atmosphere where they are from Kirkwall in the far north to Dumfries and Galloway in south west Scotland. You can use the tool to zoom into different places, the largest clusters are in Glasgow and Edinburgh. If youd like to participate then you can still do so by going to GuardianWitness

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Scotlands yes campaigners are voting to leave the Titanic
The British state is an imperial behemoth that can only look on in panic as Scots scramble for the lifeboats

Live blog: Thursdays developments on the Scottish referendum

In Scottish city centres right now, youre rarely out of sight of a yes badge. The vibe was summed up by an Edinburgh cabbie: Were being invited to run our country. Its very exciting. Maybe we can show how things can be done differently. Its not just him. Polls have shown the yes vote surging.

Its worth noting how remarkable this is. The only UK party supporting independence is the Greens. Of all of the local Scottish and British papers, only the Sunday Herald backs yes. The official story has long been that its only a few angry men in kilts who care about this.

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Hannah Witheridge relatives arrive in Thailand
Police say DNA found on British woman's body does not match any of their suspects in double murder Continue reading...

Treasuries Yield Most Versus Gilts in a Year as Scotland Votes
Treasuries yielded the most in ayear versus British gilts on speculation a vote in Scotlandtoday to split from the U.K. would slow economic growth.
Pound Advances Versus Dollar as Scots Independence Vote Begins
The pound strengthened versus thedollar as Scotland began voting on whether to end its three-century-old union with the U.K.
Queensland premier alleges arrested man had planned an onshore attack

Campbell Newman and police say: We have been able to avert a tragedy on Australian soil

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Gotcha! Buyers rush to snap up Wapping flats on £1.5bn site of former tabloid 'Fortress

Dozens of luxury flats have been sold on the £1.5 billion “Fortress Wapping” site where Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and Piers Morgan once edited red-top tabloids.

#indyref: voting under way in referendum - watch live
The polls open on a historic day for Scotland as voters determine whether the country should remain part of the United Kingdom.
Scottish independence referendum: the rules
When will we get the result? Could there be a recount? What happens if there is a dead heat? Find out everything about the referendum here.
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