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February 20, 2019

Fed Hints a Bias Toward Hiking Endures as Balance-Sheet Rolloff Nears End

Federal Reserve policy makers see 2019 marking the end of their balance sheet run-off, but not necessarily their interest-rate increases.

Minutes of the central bank’s Jan. 29-30 policy meeting released on Wednesday showed “almost all participants” agreeing it best to halt roll-offs this year, a move that should be welcomed by investors worried the balance sheet draw-down is hurting the economy.

The news on interest rates was less friendly to financial markets, where some investors think the next move in interest rates might be down. Minutes, instead, showed Fed officials were divided over what it would take for them to raise rates again. There was no suggestion of a cut.

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