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Don't believe the market on Fed timing: BlackRock

BlackRock's Paul Ebner said Tuesday the Federal Reserve may indeed increase interest rates by year-end, despite the futures market pricing in a delay until March.

On CNBC's "Squawk Box," the firm's senior portfolio manager ruled out the Fed's meeting next week, targeting the mid-December gathering for liftoff to give central bankers two sets of monthly government employment data to digest and to communicate their intentions to Wall Street.

"The market is focusing on the deceleration in the payroll numbers," Ebner said. But he contended that's "not enough" for a pause. "The Fed hasn't completely missed the window. I think end of this year is likely; certainly not October."

Earlier this month, the Labor Department reported nonfarm job creation of a lower than expected 142,000 positions for September. The unemployment rate last month held steady at 5.1 percent, matching forecasts.

Job growth in August and July was revised lower.

Continued weakness in the labor picture could certainly keep the Fed on hold, said Harvard professor Martin Feldstein. But he agreed with Ebner that the Fed would likely act in December.

"I think they're going to do it this year," said Feldstein, a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Ronald Reagan. "You've got the leadership of the Fed all saying that they expect it to happen this year."

Fed Chair Janet Yellen and the dovish members of the central bank would like to see the unemployment rate come down further, he said. "[But] there's no reason why that couldn't happen if they start normalizing."

Any rate hike would only be "moving from super, super easy to just a little less easy," he said on "Squawk Box."

Even stubbornly low inflation should not hold policymakers back, Feldstein said.

"If you look at the core number, it's 1.4 percent. That'll keep coming up with tighter markets," he said. Core inflation excludes the beaten down energy sector. The Fed's target is 2 percent.

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