February 28, 2020 / 2:02 PM / a month ago

Fed rate cut in March now seen as sure thing -CME FedWatch

Feb 28 (Reuters) - Interest rate futures markets now see a 100% probability the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates by a quarter percentage point or more at its meeting next month in response to the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak and the havoc it is wreaking on global financial markets and the risk it poses to the economy.

Near-term Fed fund futures contracts climbed for a sixth straight session on Friday as global stocks continued their tailspin and investors piled into government bonds for safety.

The CME Group’s FedWatch Tool now assigns a zero percent chance that the Fed holds back on lowering borrowing costs at its two-day meeting concluding on March 18.

A cut of at least a quarter point from the Fed’s current rate range of 1.50-1.75% is fully priced in, and market pricing now assigns a 27% chance the U.S. central bank will chop rates by half a point.

Reporting by Dan Burns

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