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The Federal Reserve is expected to leave borrowing costs unchanged at the end of a two-day policy meeting Wednesday even as the White House steps up pressure to lower them.
Chinese stocks slipped, Europe was mixed, and US futures gained before the Fed decision. Investors are navigating a minefield of market catalysts.
This was the Federal Reserve's most anticipated interest-rate decision and press conference in recent memory.
Traders are certain that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December — a decision that would quickly lift borrowing costs for Americans.
The Federal Reserve held its benchmark interest rate unchanged Wednesday and reaffirmed its plans to continue raising borrowing costs at a gradual pace.
The Federal Open Market Committee released its quarterly "dot plot," showing where Fed members expect rates to go over the next few years. The median member predicts rates will be between 2.25% and 2.5% at the end of 2018.
This was the seventh interest-rate hike since late 2015, when the Federal Reserve first began lifting interest rates from almost zero. It kept borrowing costs that low after the financial crisis to encourage businesses and consumers to spend and grow the economy.
Just before the Federal Open Market Committee's two-day meeting, we learned that the Fed's preferred gauge of inflation nearly hit its 2% target after years of lagging behind.
Federal Reserve officials saw US trade spats with China as a risk to the economy when they held a policy meeting in March.
The Federal Reserve is expected to raise rates, but there's suspense about the rest of 2018.