Fed leaning toward reducing stimulus this year: Minutes
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Federal Reserve policymakers were still leaning toward reducing US monetary stimulus this year, despite a decision to hold fire in September, the minutes of their last meeting showed Wednesday.
Markets were surprised when the Fed announced, after the Sept 17-18 meeting, that it would leave unchanged its US$85 billion (S$106.2 billion) a month in asset purchases, or quantitative easing, after signalling in May it could begin to taper the support later in 2013.
Markets had expected the Federal Open Market Committee would launch a QE taper in September, and interest rates spiked higher in anticipation of tighter credit.
The minutes revealed that the decision to keep up the flow of easy money, given a recent batch of mixed economic data, was "a relatively close call".