Traders pare bets on 2024 rate cuts as Fed’s Williams says talk is ‘premature’

(Reuters) – Traders of futures contracts that settle to the Federal Reserve’s benchmark rate pared bets on U.S. interest-rate reductions next year as New York Fed President John Williams told CNBC in an interview that talk of rate cuts is still “premature” and the central bank could still tighten policy if needed.

The contracts continue to price in a March start to Fed rate cuts, but with less conviction than earlier, putting the probability of the first reduction then at about 65%, down from 75% previously.

They continue to price in at least 1.25 percentage points of reductions in the policy rate from the current 5.25%-5.50% range by the end of 2024, but are now betting that anything more is less likely than not. 

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)