Federal Reserve keeps interest rates steady, hints at further hikes
The U.S. Federal Reserve is keeping its benchmark interest rate steady.
But the central bank left the door open to further rate hikes later in the year.
For details we turn to Yu Joonhee The Federal Reserve has hit pause, leaving its key policy rate unchanged in its current range from 0-point-75 percent to 1 percent.
The decision came on Wednesday,... after the Fed's two-day monetary policy meeting in Washington.
It was a widely expected move from the central bank, which hiked the lending rate by 25 basis points back in March.
While acknowledging that the pace of growth in the U.S. economy was slower than expected during the first quarter, Fed officials remained bullish on the country's economic prospects.
The central bank said it expects the job market and economic activity to pick up as the year moves along, leaving it on track to gradually raise interest rates.
Officials were further encouraged by a somewhat brighter outlook on the global economy and inflation running close to its target goal of 2 percent.
Although the Fed made no explicit remarks as to the timing of the next rate hike, market watchers are betting on a move in June and one further hike later this year.
The Federal Reserve remains in the midst of its monetary tightening cycle, and plans to gradually raise interest rates from the near zero levels it maintained for nearly seven years until late 2015.
Following the Fed's announcement, the Dow Jones Industrial Average erased earlier losses to eke out a gain of 8 points at the closing bell.
The central bank's next policy meeting will start on June 13th in Washington.
Its rate decision will come alongside updated quarterly economic projections and a press conference with Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen.