The US Federal Reserve decided against raising interest rates further, citing the month’s global slowdown and saying that it would continue “closely monitoring” economic conditions.

US exports have fallen because of the strengthening dollar, and crises in China in January led to volatility on Wall Street. Due to this, the Fed held interest rates between 0.25% and 0.5%, after raising them for the first time in nearly a decade in December.

In a statement, they said that “the committee is closely monitoring global economic and financial developments and is assessing their implications for the labour market and inflation.”

Policymakers indicated that they were reluctant to abandon a plan to tighten monetary policy this year, saying that the economy was still on track for moderate growth and a stronger labor market even with “gradual” rate increases. Another rise in March has not been ruled out.

In reaction to the news, Asian shares rose slightly on Thursday and oil prices fell back after climbing in the previous session.

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