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BNP says Fed rate hike in December 'more likely than not'

The logo of the BNP Parisbas bank is seen in Paris, France, March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - BNP Paribas economists said on Wednesday the Federal Reserve is poised to raise short-term U.S. interest rates at its Dec. 13-14 policy meeting after leaving rates unchanged at its latest meeting that ended earlier Wednesday.

“The Fed appears to be positioning for a hike in December, and at this stage we see that outcome as more likely than not,” BNP Paribas economists wrote in a research note.

BNP Paribas and Barclays were the only two U.S. primary dealers, or top 23 Wall Street firms that do business with the U.S. central bank, which had expected the Fed to raise interest rates on Wednesday.

Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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