Federal Reserve widely expected to hold interest rates steady this week

Federal Reserve widely expected to hold interest rates steady this week

She doesn't know if Trump will reappoint her or when the other Fed positions will be filled, but she's prepared for that.

Here are some key questions Yellen is likely to field in a press conference Wednesday after the Fed announces the beginning of the end for its controversial strategy known as "quantitative easing."

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen is focused on inflation, but the central bank is divided over how much price pressures threaten the economy.

The only other potential choice for Fed chair Trump has mentioned is Gary Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive who leads the president's National Economic Council.

Investors typically sell shares of utilities and telecoms as well as high dividend payers when interest rates rise, partly because they lose their appeal as bond proxies since investors can expect similar returns investing in bonds, which are seen as safer assets.

The question gained added importance since the Fed's No. 2, Stanley Fischer, announced this month that he will resign on October 13.

Central bankers are in a bind. "We look for higher rates this week". And low inflation can hurt the economy: Businesses get queasy about investing in people and equipment.

The Fed was caught by surprise when inflation tapered in the spring after hitting a five-year higher early in the year.

Even so, homebuyers shouldn't wait to take advantage of today's low mortgage rates, and homeowners should take advantage of attractive refinance rates while they can. Singapore added nearly one percent, with Seoul jumping 1.4 percent and Taipei up 0.5 percent.

Markets are pricing in a more than 50 percent chance of a Fed hike by the end of the year, however, up from only around a 40 percent chance less than a week ago, according to CME FedWatch, having brought forward their bets after a strong USA inflation print last week.

Widespread damage from hurricanes Harvey and Irma has dampened the US economy enough for the Federal Reserve to rethink its original plans to raise short-term interest rates when it meets this week, according to economists. The Fed's balance-sheet drawdown is set up to run on autopilot, for instance, so tighter monetary policy is a foregone conclusion.

"Ultimately, draining the economy of cheap money can't be viewed as a positive for markets accustomed to feeding off central bank largesse". And now it's time for the Fed to begin selling that debt.

Over that time, unemployment fell from a crisis-era peak of 10 percent to a 16-year low of 4.3 percent this year, about as low as economists think it can go before inflation starts to rise, forcing the Fed to tighten policy.

An announcement that the Fed will start unwinding its debt would mark yet another milestone in an economic recovery now in its ninth year.

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