The US dollar strengthened against most major counterparts following the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) press conference as the Federal Reserve has cut its monthly bond purchases by another USD 10 billion, continuing on Bernanke's tapering program, the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) said in its weekly report on Sunday.Federal Open Market Committee decided to cut its assets purchases by USD 10 billion for the third straight meeting in March to USD 55 billion a month from USD 65 billion starting in April. Meanwhile the Fed left the target range for the federal funds rate at zero to 0.25 percent, it said.On economic data, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits held near the lowest level in almost 4-months, while manufacturing in some areas is rebounding and a gauge of the economy's prospects climbed more than forecasted in February, as signs that the US growth will pick up as temperatures rise, it indicated.Jobless claims rose by only 5,000 to 320,000, but lower than the forecasted 327,000. The slowdown in dismissals could lay the groundwork for a pickup in hiring which will equate to a boost in consumer spending, as most retailers prepare to launch summer clothing and equipment, the report added.In Germany, investor confidence fell in February for a third consecutive month, a sign that the recovery for the German economy is being burdened by the Crimean crisis, which poses a risk to the continents' powerhouse, it said.The United Kingdoms' unemployment rate held steady in the three months through January, while Bank of England policy makers stated that the Pound's advance against the US dollar is keeping price pressures in check.The jobless rate came at 7.2 percent, unchanged from the last quarter of 2013. The Bank of England stated, "Sterling had appreciated by another 1.5 percent during the month, and it was possible that this gradual appreciation would continue if prospects in the UK continued to be seen as increasingly favorable relative to those of its main trading partners". Gold lost all gains it made last week, dropping the most in 3-months after the Federal Reserve further reduced the monetary stimulus in the US economy, while economists speculate a rise in interest rates in 2015, curbing demand for the precious metal.Gold dropped since the beginning from a high of 1,392.33 to a low of 1,320.67. This year, gold has advanced 12 percent as signs of slowing global growth and turmoil in Eastern Europe increased demand for haven assets, it concluded.