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Bets on rate hike this year roll back in wake of weak inflation reading


Will the Federal Reserve hike rates in December?

Investors are reducing bets that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by the end of the year after July’s soft inflation numbers, extending a streak of weaker-than-expected data and casting doubt on the U.S. economy’s ability to reach the central bank’s long-term 2% target. Traders on the federal-funds futures market lowered the odds of an interest-rate increase at the Fed’s December policy meeting to 37.4% on Friday, a level last seen on June 16, compared with 46.8% a week ago, according to Chicago Mercantile Exchange data. Most estimates of a rate hike center around December and not the coming September meeting, as inflation remains stubbornly low and waiting for a few extra months affords the central bank the luxury of waiting for prices to rebound when monetary tightening might be more palatable to investors.