The Federal Reserve, the US central bank, on Monday was holding its first open market committee meeting under its new chairman, Ben Bernanke.
Bernanke assumes the position held by Alan Greenspan for 18 and a half years, as the Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day session to evaluate interest rates.
The meeting will conclude on Tuesday, when it is widely expected the committee will follow in Greenspan's and raise rates for the 15th straight time in a row.
If so, the announcement on Tuesday would boost short-term rates one-quarter point to 4.75 percent.
While the market widely expects this 15th consecutive increase, it will be focusing on clues to whether the Fed believes it has raised interest rates sufficiently to contain inflation or will push them still higher.
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