Traders see remote chance of Fed rate hike this week

October 31, 2016 10:38 AM EDT

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., October 25, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid


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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Traders on Monday placed a low probability the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates at its policy meeting later this week amid mixed economic data and ahead of the U.S. presidential election, according to interest rates futures.

They put about a 3-in-4 chance the U.S. central bank would increase the target range on their policy rates by a quarter point to 0.50-0.75 percent at its Dec. 13-14 meeting.

While the world's biggest economy is hardly firing on all cylinders, U.S. gross domestic product produced a stronger-than-expected 2.9 percent annualized growth rate in the third quarter, analysts said.

"Investment is still somewhat sluggish, consumption continues to grow solidly, and this adds up to GDP growth trending near 2 percent," Credit Suisse chief economist James Sweeney wrote in a research note on Monday.

He added recent remarks from some Fed policymakers hinted a rate increase is likely in the near future.

Meanwhile, news that the FBI is planning to review more emails related to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's private server, just a week before the Nov. 8 election, have reduced earlier expectations of a Clinton victory.

Federal funds futures implied traders saw a 6 percent chance the Fed would raise rates at its two-day meeting that kicks off on Tuesday, compared with a 8 percent chance late on Friday, according to CME Group's FedWatch program.

They suggested a 73 percent likelihood of a rate hike in December, little changed from on Friday.

(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)



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