US Fed keeps rates steady - for now

The US Federal Reserve building in Washington, DC.
The US Federal Reserve building in Washington, DC. PHOTO: AFP

For investors, the Fed-watching game is over for the time being and they are now turning their attention to the United States presidential election in November.

The unchanged interest rate policy by the US Federal Reserve had been largely anticipated by analysts. The Fed said that it held off on raising rates "for the time being" until there is more evidence that the US economy is improving and the labour market is on the upturn.

However, the central bank did note that the case for a rate increase "has strengthened". Market watchers take that to mean the rates could go up before the end of the year, in December, after the US election.

Asian markets rallied on the news yesterday. The Singapore market bucked the trend on profit- taking, ending slightly weaker.

One US dollar could buy S$1.35 yesterday, down from S$1.36 on Wednesday.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2016, with the headline 'US Fed keeps rates steady - for now'. Print Edition | Subscribe