U.S. rate futures traders keep bets for late 2014 Fed rate rise

Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:36pm EST

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Traders of short-term U.S. interest rates are betting the Federal Reserve will keep rates near zero until late 2014, after Fed policymakers voted to keep their bond-buying stimulus program in place.

Fed funds futures contracts rose after the Fed released its policy statement, and traders saw about a 56 percent chance that the first Fed overnight interest-rate hike will take place in October 2014.

Before the Fed released its policy statement, futures prices suggested they saw about a 59 percent chance of such a move, based on contracts traded at CME Group Inc's Chicago Board of Trade.

The Fed has held the target rate at near zero since December 2008 and says it plans to keep it there as long as the U.S. unemployment rate remains above 6.5 percent.

Rate futures contracts rise when traders move their expectations of when the Fed will hike rates farther into the future.

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