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Old 23rd January 2008, 05:41 PM
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The market still expects the Fed to cut rates again next week

Even though the Federal Reserve slashed its key federal funds rate by three-quarters of a percentage point in an emergency meeting Tuesday, Wall Street is still betting that the central bank will lower rates again next week.

The Fed will hold a two-day meeting that wraps up on Jan. 30. And according to futures listed on the Chicago Board of Trade, investors are pricing in a 100 percent chance of at least another half-point cut, to 3 percent, and a 48 percent likelihood of another 75 basis point cut, to 2.75 percent. (There are 100 basis points in a full percentage point.)

"There is a legitimate chance of another cut next week. The Fed wants to stay in front of things and at this stage, they'd rather err on the side of having rates be too easy than too restrictive," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer with Harris Private Bank.

"The Fed doesn't want to be blamed for making a downturn worse than it already is," Ablin added.

Economists from Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs both are predicting a half-point rate cut next week and Merrill's economists went as far to suggest that the Fed may need to eventually bring the federal funds rate back down to 1 percent. The federal funds rate was last that low in May 2004.....

http://money.cnn.com/2008/01/22/news...ion=2008012309
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