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The Fed's statement is a bit of a head-scratcher

Screenshot of the Fed's dot plot
Screenshot of the Fed's dot plot

Wednesday's Federal Open Market Committee meeting was largely a non-event, with the Fed holding U.S. interest rates steady as expected by nearly 100% of the market.

Between the lines: However, the Fed's statement and predictions for future policy left many confused.

  • Powell suggested a high barrier for rate increases in 2020, and a willingness to cut, but the Fed's dot plot shows a higher likelihood of rate hikes than rate cuts next year.

Of note: Powell also expressed the central bank's willingness to expand its Treasury purchase program to include longer-dated bonds if the repo market sees more stress, but held off on announcing a standing facility or guaranteeing any further initiatives to pump more liquidity into the market.

Go deeper: The market will need the Fed again in 2020