URGENT: Fed announces tapering of bond-buying program

© Kyodo News

The U.S. Federal Reserve said Wednesday it has decided to scale back a massive bond-buying program amid the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

After a two-day meeting of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, the central bank said it will begin reducing monthly purchases in Treasuries and mortgage securities by $15 billion, while maintaining its target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25 percent.

The Fed indicated after its previous policy meeting in September that a decision would be nearing on beginning to taper the bond-buying program. The quantitative easing measure was introduced along with the near-zero interest rate policy in March 2020 as the pandemic intensified in the United States.