Sept 18, 2015 (LBO) – The U.S. held interest rates steady on Thursday after a two-day monetary policy meeting citing low inflation and uncertain global economic growth.
The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries fell to 2.23 percent from 2.30 percent the previous day. The S&P index closed down 0.26 percent, while the Nikkei is now down 1.7 percent. Brent crude is up 0.16 percent to 49.16 dollars per barrel.
Half the analysts polled had predicted a liftoff which would have been the first in nearly a decade ending seven years of zero interest rates.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the outlook abroad appears to be less certain, which in effect had forced the Fed’s hand.
“The Committee continues to see the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labor market as nearly balanced but is monitoring developments abroad,” the FOMC said in a statement.
A fall in U.S. stock prices and a strengthening of the dollar also tightened monetary conditions which influenced the Fed decision.
“To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate,” the FOMC said.
“In determining how long to maintain this target range, the Committee will assess progress–both realized and expected–toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation,” it said.
Markets are expected to remain volatile given this decision as several emerging market central bankers had said a clear Fed decision would end uncertainty and a flight of funds out of their country bonds.
The FOMC statement can be read here