Financial markets added to bets Friday of a March start to Federal Reserve interest-rate cuts and a Fed policy rate of under 4% by the end of next year, after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said rate hikes were achieving what was hoped and that risks between over- and under-tightening policy were more balanced.
Futures contracts on the Fed's policy rate are pricing in about a 66% chance of a first interest-rate cut at the Fed's March meeting, with the benchmark rate seen at the upper end of the 3.75%-4.0% range by December 2024.
The Fed has pegged the policy rate in a 5.25%-5.50% range since July, and is expected to keep it there at its meetings this month and next.
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