Federal Reserve minutes offer few clues on tapering
The Federal Reserve has offered few hints on its timeline for tapering off its massive monetary stimulus program.
The minutes of the July 30th to 31st meeting, released on Wednesday, showed most of the 12 members on the Federal Open Market Committee agreed that a change to the stimulus was "not yet appropriate."
Investors have been eager to find out when the Fed will start winding down its 85 billion U.S. dollars in monthly asset purchases.
Many expect it will begin September.
While the details of the minutes provided few clues as to when it will begin,.. it did little to dissuade expectations.
"The consensus among officials is that the economy is going to improve in the second half of this year as fiscal restraint wanes. Consumer confidence has risen. And employment gains have moved to about a 200-thousand average -- what they are expecting to see with confidence, that it is going to continue going forward. So that is consistent with their view that they should dial back a bit on the near term stimulus."
The uncertainty about the Fed's intentions has rocked global markets over the past few months, especially when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke announced in June plans to start scaling back the quantitative easing measures later this year and end it completely by mid-2014.
After the release of the minutes, market movement reflected the uncertainty with major indexes fluctuating in the final hours of trading.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell point-seven percent while the S&P 500 fell point-six percent on Wednesday.
The Fed will meet again on September 17th for a two-day meeting,.. which will be followed by a press conference by Bernanke.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.
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