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In Historic First, Yellen Confirmed As Next U.S. Fed Chair

Economist Janet Yellen as she appeared for her nomination to the top Fed job in October by U.S. President Barack Obama
The U.S. Senate has confirmed Janet Yellen as the next head of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The 67-year-old will begin her four-year term as chairwoman on February 1.

She replaces Ben Bernanke, who has held the job for eight years.

Yellen, who has served as vice chairman of the Fed since 2010, will be the first woman to lead the U.S. central bank in its 100-year history.

Yellen was a strong supporter of the Fed's current stimulus efforts -- a $75 billion-a-month bond-buying program aimed at keeping interest rates low.

Her main task is perceived as overseeing an exit from a period of relaxed monetary policy while making sure the current economic recovery is not put at risk.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP