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First Fed cut in over a decade disappoints markets

The US Federal Reserve (the Fed) has disappointed markets by cutting interest rates by 0.25 per cent, leaving the US rate at 2 to 2.25 per cent, whilst failing to indicate they will continue reducing rates further in the coming months. In their subsequent press conference, Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, struggled to justify or confirm a single cut, though did announce an end to the Fed's balance sheet reduction plan two months early. The comments, which were perceived to be more hawkish than expected, caused US equities and precious metals to sell off between 1 and 2 per cent, whilst the US dollar strengthened considering the prospect that rates could be left higher than hoped in the medium term. An initial bond market rally later faded, though precious metals have yet to recover while the US dollar presses ahead.