RTTNews - The Federal Open Market Committee, the policy-making arm of the Federal Reserve, announced Wednesday that it was maintaining the target range for its benchmark federal funds rate at zero to 0.25 percent.

The Fed also repeated its belief that low rates will persist for what it calls an extended period. The central bank said that economic activity is leveling out.

The central bank said it will gradually slow the pace of treasury purchases and expects that the full amount of $300 billion will be purchased by the end of October.

Going into the meeting, the Fed was universally expected to leave rates unchanged, but there was some speculation that the central bank could announce the end of its program to buy treasury bonds, a move it had undertaken to further stimulate the economy.

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