March 21, 2019 / 1:03 PM / 6 months ago

MONEY MARKETS-Dollar LIBOR slips after Fed sees no rate hikes in 2019

March 21 (Reuters) - A key barometer of interbank borrowing costs for dollars on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled it would leave key lending rates unchanged in 2019 amid signs of slowing global economic growth.

The London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) to borrow dollars for three months fell to 2.60150 percent, down 0.55 basis point.

Three-month LIBOR has declined for three consecutive sessions.

LIBOR is the benchmark rate for $200 trillion worth of dollar-denominated financial products, mainly interest rate swaps and floating-rate loans.

In December, LIBOR reached its highest in more than a decade at 2.82375 percent, propelled by Federal Reserve interest rate increases, rising U.S. government borrowing and a shrinking Fed balance sheet.

Since then, domestic figures pointing to weakening business activity and muted inflation have raised concerns among Fed policy-makers. Uncertainty about trade talks between China and the United States and negotiations between Britain and the European Union to leave the economic bloc have also worried central bank officials.

On Wednesday, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said in a press conference following a two-day policy meeting, at which policymakers reaffirmed they will be “patient” before raising short-term rates again.

“Patient means that we see no need to rush to judgment,” Powell said.

Reporting by Richard Leong Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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