In a widely anticipated move, the US Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Wednesday left its benchmark fed funds rate range steady at 5.25%-5.50%.
“Tighter financial and credit conditions for households and businesses are likely to weigh on economic activity, hiring, and inflation,” said the FOMC in its policy statement. “The extent of these effects remains uncertain. The Committee remains highly attentive to inflation risks.”
The central bank’s nod towards risks to economic growth is nearly identical to that of its previous policy statement in September, suggesting that it will be incoming data that will decide whether there’s another pause or rate hike at its December meeting.
Bitcoin (BTC) was little changed in the moments following the news, trading just above $34,500, CoinDesk data shows.
While bitcoin has been known to experience a large amount of intra-day volatility during FOMC decision days, that impact has been diminishing with the Fed likely nearing the end of its rate hike cycle, according to crypto analytics firm K33 Research.
“Fed interest rate decisions have seen reduced medium-term directional impact on BTC as correlations reign moderate, K33 analysts Anders Helseth and Vetle Lunde noted in a market preview Tuesday. “We still expect a significant intraday volatility contribution from the Wednesday FOMC, as the “The market typically reacts with bursts of strongly correlated and heightened volatility during the FOMC hours.”
Market participants will now look to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s imminent press conference for clues about the future path of US central bank policy.
Over the past few weeks, Fed speakers have hinted that they are leaning towards one more rate hike before ending what’s been a historic rate hike cycle.