U.S. government yields held steady on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes showed central bank members believe that a "limited amount" of interest rate hikes will be needed in the future.
Fed members conceded in their December meeting that the central bank's policy path is "less clear" after approving the fourth and final interest rate hike in 2018. The central bank's latest meeting minutes showed some members hesitant about the December hike given a lack of more robust inflationary pressure.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell assuaged investor concerns last week when he said that the central bank will remain data dependent when considering adjustment to the reduction of its enormous balance sheet and additional increases to the federal funds rate.
The minutes "were dovish -- particularly for a meeting at which the Fed tightened," Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rate strategy at BMO Capital Markets. "Less clarity on the timing of future rate hikes and the usage of 'patient' made it evident that some policy rethink is underway at the Fed -- perhaps 'Santa Pause' was in DC last month after all."