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Fed holds rates steady, expects portfolio cuts 'relatively soon'

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WASHINGTON  - The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday and said it expected to start winding down its massive holdings of bonds "relatively soon" in a sign of confidence in the U.S. economy.

The Fed kept its benchmark lending rate in a target range of 1.00 percent to 1.25 percent, as expected, and said it was on track to continue the slow path of monetary tightening that has lifted rates by a percentage point since 2015.

In a statement following a two-day policy meeting, the U.S. central bank's rate-setting committee indicated the economy was growing moderately and job gains had been solid.

It also noted that both overall inflation and a measure of underlying price gains had declined - trends which have worried some policymakers - but that it expected the economy to continue strengthening.

"The committee expects to begin implementing its balance sheet normalization program relatively soon," the Fed said, adding that it would follow a plan outlined in June to trim its holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.

U.S. stock prices rose following the release of the policy statement while yields on U.S. government debt fell. The dollar dropped against a basket of currencies.

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Muslim Global: Fed holds rates steady, expects portfolio cuts 'relatively soon'
Fed holds rates steady, expects portfolio cuts 'relatively soon'
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Muslim Global
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