January 10, 2020 / 2:23 PM / 8 days ago

Traders keep bets on extended Fed policy pause

(Reuters) - U.S. short-term interest rate futures were little changed Friday after a Labor Department report showed U.S. employers slowed hiring last month but still created more than enough jobs to keep up with growth in the workforce.

The report did little to change traders’ expectations that the Federal Reserve will hold interest rates where they are for most of this year.

The Fed last year cut its target for overnight bank-to-bank lending rates three times to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%, and most U.S. central bankers are expecting not to touch the rate at all in 2020.

After the jobs report, bets placed in futures contracts tied to the Fed’s policy rate continued to reflect expectations that the U.S. central bank will leave rates where they are until November at the earliest, before delivering another rate cut to shore up economic growth.

Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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