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Fed interest rates remained unchanged at 5.25-5.5%.

In a widely anticipated decision, the US Federal Reserve has decided to maintain its benchmark Fed funds rate range at 5.25-5.50%. The central bank’s new economic forecasts point to the end of the tightening phase, with borrowing costs expected to fall in 2024. Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged faster-than-expected progress in the US economic recovery at a news conference. Powell emphasized that the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) forecasts for economic growth this year were revised upward after a September review of economic forecasts.

It is important to note that the policy statement explicitly noted the weakening of inflation over the past year, suggesting a cautious approach. Powell said the Federal Reserve would keep a close eye on the economy, hinting that further rate hikes may not be necessary – a shift from its previously aggressive tightening trend. Investors, in accordance with expectations, received news of unchanged Fed interest rates. The CME FedWatch tool indicated a 98% probability of such an outcome, based on the prices of Fed funds futures contracts. Moreover, the latest forecasts show a more balanced outlook for the Fed’s dual mandate on inflation and employment risks. This change in sentiment has helped Bitcoin rise more than 4% over the past 24 hours, reaching $42,700 at 3:00 pm ET after a brief pullback from early December’s yearly high above $44,400.

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