US Fed keeps interest rates unchanged, to be patient on future hikes

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Pexels Pixabay

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note - which moves in the opposition direction of price - declined to 2.69 percent from about 2.73 percent before the Fed announcement at 2 p.m.

The Fed's policy statement indicates the U.S. central bank will remain on a dovish path, which is very supportive for risk assets, at least on the short term, said Putri Pascualy, managing director for PAAMCO in Irvine, California.

By removing references to further rate hikes, the central bank indicated that it's not going to move prematurely on raising interest rates.

The S&P 500 was up 23.51 points, or 0.89 percent, at 2,663.51 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 91.50 points, or 1.30 percent, at 7,119.79.

The S&P 500 index was little changed at 2,681.

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Better-than-expected results from many USA companies reporting in recent days are also fuelling optimism on Wall Street, Callahan added. The policymakers also said they're prepared to slow the reduction of their bond holdings if needed to help the economy. Dollar suffered another bout of bearish influence soon after Fed update as Fed Chair Jerome Powell during his post-FOMC conference speech commented that balance sheet shrinking activity would be dependent on future economic conditions in relations to WSJ reports from earlier this week.

The language used in the FOMC statement, keeping the benchmark interest rate in a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent, reflected the increasing sense that the United States economy may have peaked.

"In light of global economic and financial developments and muted inflation pressures, the committee will be patient as it determines" the timing and need for any further increases, the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee said.

The downgrade in the Fed's language around rate increases included a change in its description of economic growth from "strong" to "solid", and it noted that market-based measures of inflation compensation have "moved lower in recent months".

"The market is very aggressively discounting any positive outcomes this year" in areas such as domestic growth, trade and the global economy, said Ed Al-Hussainy, a senior interest-rate strategist at Columbia Threadneedle.

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The Fed raised rates four times last year and signaled in December that it would do so twice this year.

The euro gained 0.39 percent to $1.1475.

"As long as the U.S. economy continues to grow and corporate profits climb, I expect cyclical sectors aligned with the economy's growth continue to lead the bull market higher in the near term", said State Street's Arone.

Oil prices rose, paring gains of more than 1 percent, as the potential for supply disruptions following USA sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry lifted prices.

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