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Fed holds steady; no clues about future rate hike

The Federal Reserve again passed Wednesday on enacting its first interest hike in more than nine years and left few clues as to when a move would come.

As expected, the Federal Open Market Committee voted to maintain its zero interest rate policy, citing weakness in exports and soft inflation as reasons to continue its historically easy monetary policy. The FOMC vote had just one dissent, from Jeffrey Lacker, who wanted to see the Fed enact a quarter-point hike.

Markets had been looking for the Fed to stay accommodative, particularly in light of recent dovish comments from multiple governors, Daniel Tarullo and Lael Brainard among them, who said publicly that the timing wasn't right for an increase.

The decision comes amid multiple data points that show a weakening in the economy, particularly in job gains and exports. Inflation measures the Fed follows also reflect little in the way of wage and price pressures, while economists are anticipating a muted holiday shopping season.

The latest statement included only a modest change in...


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