Global markets are reacting to the Federal Open Market Committee's decision to hold its interest rate target at 0.25-0.50 percent on Wednesday, after a two-day policy meeting
In its post-meeting statement, the Fed noted that the unemployment rate had declined (to 4.7 percent) but "job gains have diminished." Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in a press conference following the statement release that the Brexit vote, due on June 23, was also one of the factors in Wednesday's decision.
The bank was widely expected to stand pat on rates and there were signals Wednesday that the likelihood of two further rate hikes in 2016 was increasingly unlikely.
Meanwhile in Asia, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) also kept monetary policy steady on Thursday after a two-day meeting, as widely expected. The Japanese yen strengthened sharply against the dollar and the Nikkei tumbled 2.15 percent.
Also the Swiss National Bank left its deposit rate unchanged at -0.75 percent.
The Bank of England voted unanimously to maintain its key interest rate at 0.5 percent as it warned that a vote for Britain to leave the EU would pose risks to the global economy.