The US central bank decided to stay put on interest rates, reiterating that it expected a “gradual” pace of interest rate hikes to be needed in order to sustain the ecomomic expansion and the “strong” labour market, while keeping inflation near its “symmetric” 2.0% target.

Following its deliberations, the Federal Open Market Committee kept the target range for the Fed funds rate at between 2.0% to 2.25%.

In their post-meeting statement, policymakers at the Federal Reserve also said gauges of inflation expectations were “little changed on balance” and that they continued to see the risks to the economic outlook as balanced.

In an immediate reaction to Thursday's unanimous decision, the yield on the benchmark two-year US Treasury note was flat at 2.96% and that on the 10-year note was unchanged at 3.23%.

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