Latest Global Business News

U.S. Fed raises benchmark interest rate for third consecutive quarter

 
In a widely anticipated move,... the Federal Reserve has announced its second rate hike of the year,... signaling its confidence in the U.S. economy.
 
Watchers think the U.S. central bank will raise rates again within this year,... reflecting the Fed's previous forecast of three rate hikes in 2017.
 
Kim Hyo-sun reports. The U.S. Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point.
Following a two-day meeting,... the Fed announced on Wednesday that the rate hike brings the target range to one to one-and-a-quarter-percent.
 
usfed raises interestrates
 
- Reuters 3220
"Today the Federal Open Market Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate by one quarter percentage point bringing it to one to one quarter percent."
 
The move reflects confidence in the economy,... which the Fed described as great progress,... including an increased number of jobs and a drop in the unemployment rate. Although it gave no hint on an additional rate hike this year,... watchers foresee a similar move in the latter half of the year,... reflecting the Fed's previous forecast.
 
The Fed also stated it will reduce its securities holdings,... reducing its four-point-two trillion dollars portfolio of bonds and securities,... most of which were bought during the global financial crisis.
 
- Reuters 3220
"Consistent with the principles and plans we released in 2014, this program would gradually decrease our reinvestments, and initiate a gradual and largely predictable decline in our securities holdings."
 
The Fed's second rate hike this year,... now brings the target range for the federal funds rate on par with Korea's benchmark rate,... which stands at one-point-two-five percent.
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