Greek parliament passes bailout, Yellen delivers upbeat speech on US economy

The US dollar was broadly higher today after being given a boost late on Wednesday by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen who repeated her view that the Fed will likely hike interest rates this year if the U.S. economy expands as expected. In her semiannual testimony to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, Yellen delivered an upbeat speech on the U.S. economy and cited improvement in the labor market.

U.S. Treasury yields and the dollar rose on Yellen’s rate comments, while U.S. stocks held steady.

In other news, the Greek parliament passed austerity measures demanded by European partners, as a condition for a multi-billion euro bailout package Greece needs to stay in the Eurozone.

The euro, already beaten down overnight against the dollar after Yellen, showed limited reaction to the Greek vote outcome which did not surprise many in the market.

The vote followed a stormy debate in which dozens of lawmakers on the left of the ruling Syriza party rebelled against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and opposed the package, which passed with the support of opposition parties.

The package passed with 229 votes in favor in the 300-seat chamber but 38 Syriza lawmakers abstained or voted against the government, including former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and the current Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, Deputy Labour Minister Dimitris Stratoulis and speaker of parliament Zoe Constantopoulou.

The result opens the way for talks on a third bailout to begin with European partners, but leaves the future of the leftist Tsipras government unclear following the split in his party ranks.

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