June 6, 2014 / 12:49 PM / 3 years ago

Fed still seen raising interest rates in July 2015

United States Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks at the 2014 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference in Chicago, March 31, 2014. REUTERS/John Gress

(Reuters) - U.S. short-term interest-rate futures contracts pared earlier gains Friday after a government report showed robust job growth in May, but contract prices continued to reflect expectations the Federal Reserve will not raise rates before July 2015.

The contracts show markets are assigning a roughly 58 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. That was little changed from the 59 percent chance assigned before the report.

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. Its bond-buying program is on track to end this fall.

Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and W Simon

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