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Fed leaves rates unchanged Add to ...

The U.S. Federal Reserve held its key interest rate unchanged on Wednesday afternoon and left unchanged its oft-repeated commitment to keep rates at exceptionally low levels "for an extended period."

This was a widely expected non-move, but stocks were moving higher in the early minutes following the monetary policy release. At 2:25 p.m. (ET), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 82 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 11,074 - a little higher than its earlier level.

There was at least one notable change in the Fed's statement, though, which could be giving investors something to cheer about. This time, the Fed said that the "labour market is beginning to improve," which is a step up from the assessment in March when the Fed said that the labour market was merely "stabilizing."

Meanwhile, its view of inflation remains the same: "With substantial resource slack continuing to restrain cost pressures and longer-term inflation expectations stable, inflation is likely to be subdued for some time."

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