Here's How Markets Are Reacting to the Fed Policy Meeting

Here's How Markets Are Reacting to the Fed Policy Meeting

The US Federal Reserve announced it will begin rolling off its Dollars 4.5 trillion balance sheet in October.

"The Fed has firmly signalled that a December rate rise is still on the table, but it will be hard for investors to put too much faith in this forecast while there is still plenty of time for it to change its mind", said Luke Bartholomew, investment strategist at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

He added, "Given these latest projections and the broadly unchanged language on inflation in today's policy statement, we now expect the Fed to push on and raise rates again in December".

MSCI's broadest dollar-denominated index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.4 per cent.

The forecasts, which are released four times a year, update projections made in June.

In a move largely expected by financial markets, the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) agreed to keep its benchmark rate target at 1%-1.25%, forecasting at least one more hike this year.

The Federal Reserve called an end to the expansion of its so-called quantitative easing programme on Wednesday, even as rate-setters on the Potomac admitted they were still analysing the reasons for the undershoot on inflation in 2017 - although Yellen indicated she did not expect it to persist.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.2 percent to 22,412.59.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,502. At a maximum pace of United States dollars 50 billion per month, it will take more than three years to reduce the Fed's balance sheet back to a level near USD 2.5 trillion, which is still more than three times its size in 2007.

According to the Fed's economic projections released on Wednesday, Fed officials expected the USA economy to grow 2.4 percent this year, higher than their forecast of 2.2 percent in June.

The fed chair, who's term ends in February, said the bank believes that the persistently low inflation the United States the past four years is a temporary phenomena tied to the strength of the job market and a strong US dollar overseas, among other factors.

"The markets reacted to the Fed quite straightforwardly, with shorter yields rising more than long-dated bond yields".

The policy statement and accompanying projections showed the Fed still in the middle of a balancing act between an economic recovery that has kept USA unemployment low and is gaining steam globally and a recent worrying drop in US inflation.

The New Zealand dollar hit its strongest in more than a month at $0.7374 after a poll showed the ruling National Party regaining a wide lead over the opposition before Saturday's election.

Prices of oil, one of Canada's major exports, were on course for their largest third-quarter gain in 13 years after the Iraqi oil minister said that OPEC and its partners were considering extending or deepening output cuts.