The Latest: Global markets on hold ahead of Fed decision

The Latest on the Federal Reserve and its action related to a key interest rate (all times local):

Global markets are in a holding pattern ahead of a decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which is poised to cut its key interest rate.

The Fed on Wednesday is expected to cut that rate to counter what it sees as threats to the U.S. economy ranging from uncertainties caused by President Donald Trump’s trade conflicts to persistently subpar inflation to a darkened global outlook.

It will be the Fed’s first rate cut since December 2008 in the depths of the Great Recession.

Most analysts expect the Fed to announce a quarter-point cut in its benchmark short-term rate. That rate, which affects many consumer and business loans, is now in a range of 2.25% to 2.5% after nine quarter-point rates increases from December 2015 to December 2018.

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