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Fed slow to raise interest rates amid political turmoil: Art Cashin

  • Veteran trader Art Cashin says the Fed will be slow to raise interest rates amid so much political turmoil around the world.
  • The Fed is expected to raise interest rates in June as part of a series of gradual increases that could continue into the middle of next year.
  • Others say the Fed won't be able to raise rates faster than its Japanese or European counterparts.

Art Cashin said with so much political turmoil around the world, the Fed will likely be slow to raise interest rates.

"If you look at the Fed minutes, they were already beginning to lean a little dovish," Cashin, managing director of UBS Financial Services, said Tuesday on "Closing Bell." "And, with uncertainty around the world, they'll be slow to press the button."

On May 2, the Fed held its funds rate between the targeted 1.50 and 1.75 percent. The bank is expected to raise rates in June, beginning a gradual series of increases that could span into the middle of next year.

But some say the U.S. Federal Reserve won't be able to raise interest rates faster than its European and Japanese counterparts.

"It is hard for U.S. rates to get too far out of line with the global rate situation, and obviously both the [Bank of Japan] and the [European Central Bank] are continuing very accommodative policies," James Bullard, the St. Louis Fed president, said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, market watchers were on edge Tuesday amid political turmoil in Italy and concerns over weak interest rates and a decline in global credit that could spell bad news for international debt holders.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 391.64 points, or 1.58 percent, to close at 24,361.45. The S&P 500 was down 1.16 percent to close at 2,689.86, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite declined by 0.5 percent to finish at 7,396.59.

But Cashin said the market's immediate reaction to international politics will likely not last.

"I think you've got to let this day pass," he said. "This is kind of catch up, what happened over the [long] weekend," while the market was closed Monday for Memorial Day. "And so you're getting some overreactions in some areas."

— Reuters contributed to this report.