U.S. central bank raised its benchmark overnight interest rate to a
range of 0.25 percent to 0.50 percent in December, the first hike in
nearly a decade, but has held rates steady this year.
polled by Reuters see a slim chance of a rate increase at the conclusion
of the Fed's two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, with the majority
expecting one at the meeting in December.
"The last thing the Fed
wants is to disrupt financial markets with a big surprise," said
Torsten Slok, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn).
Bank of Japan on Wednesday added a long-term interest rate target to
its massive asset-buying program in an overhaul of its policy framework
aimed at accelerating achievement of its 2 percent inflation target.
BOJ said it would continue to buy long-term government bonds, but
abandoned its base money target and instead set a "yield curve control"
under which it will buy long-term government bonds to keep 10-year bond
yields at current levels around zero percent.
rate-setting committee will release its policy statement at 2 p.m. EDT
(1800 GMT). Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to hold her quarterly
press conference half an hour later.
The 17 Fed policymakers will
have to balance a strong labor market, marked by an unemployment rate
of 4.9 percent and job gains that are outpacing population growth, with
inflation that is still well below the central bank's 2 percent target
and weak August readings for manufacturing and service industry