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US Federal Reserve has raised its key interest rate for the fourth time this year to reflect the US economy's continued strength but signalled that it expects to slow its rate hikes next year.

The quarter-point increase, to a range of 2.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent on Wednesday, lifted the Fed's benchmark rate to its highest point since 2008. It will mean higher borrowing costs for many consumers and businesses.

US central bank's move came despite President Donald Trump's attacks in recent weeks on its rate hikes. He had complained that the moves are threatening the economy.

At a news conference after the Fed's announcement, Chairman Jerome Powell said Trump's tweets and statements would have no bearing on the central bank's policy making.

US economy is facing potential challenges from Trump's trade war, a slowing Chinese economy, and the potential economic and financial turmoil that could come in the wake of Britain's exit from the European Union.




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