REFILE-Traders keep bets on July 2015 for first Fed rate hike

Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:18pm EDT

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April 30 (Reuters) - U.S. short-term interest-rate futures contracts were little changed on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it will continue to wind down its bond-buying program, with traders keeping in place their bets the Fed will wait until July 2015 before raising rates.

The contracts show markets are assigning a roughly 69 percent chance of a first Fed rate hike in July 2015, based on CME FedWatch, which tracks rate hike expectations using its Fed funds futures contracts.

The Fed has targeted short-term rates of between zero and 0.25 percent since December 2008, and has promised to keep them there for a "considerable time" after it ends its bond-buying program. (Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Chris Reese)

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