MONEY MARKETS-Traders see next U.S. Fed rate hike in mid-2016

NEW YORK, Dec 17 (Reuters) - U.S. interest rates futures slipped on Thursday as traders expected the U.S. Federal Reserve would follow up with another rate increase by mid-2016 after ending its near zero rate policy on Wednesday.

The U.S. central bank increased its target range on the federal funds rate to 0.25 percent to 0.50 percent from zero to 0.25 percent.

Federal funds futures implied traders see a 74 percent chance the U.S. central bank might lift its target rate range by a quarter point in June 2016, up from 11 percent on Wednesday , according to CME Group’s FedWatch program.

They suggested traders assign a 50 percent chance the Fed may consider its next rate hike at its March policy meeting, compared with zero on Wednesday.

Reporting by Richard Leong