Economic news

Fed: further monetary policy is "less clear"

U.S. Federal Reserve may retain interest rates steady through March or longer, minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee last meeting in December showed.

US Fed minutes December 2018Photo: Reuters

The message underlines an expectation that the central bank is on course to end of its rate-hike cycle. The Fed increased its benchmark rate a quarter point to a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent, the fourth hike in the year and the ninth since policy tightening kicked off in December 2015.

Wall Street extended a fourth consecutive session of gains overnight as the minutes were released, in part offsetting the steep fall in the final quarter of 2018.

Worries over deepened trade tensions, global economy perspectives, and the sustainability of corporate profits growth laid among the factors that directly affected the U.S. equity prices, according to the minutes.

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