The US Federal Reserve commenced its first monetary policy meeting of the year on Tuesday to look at the pulse of the American economy and determine the right time for a possible increase in the interest rates.
The policy arm of American central bank, called the Federal Open Market Committee, is largely expected to indicate no remarkable policy changes after it wraps up the crucial meeting on Wednesday.
But the market and investors are closely awaiting the post-meeting statement by FOMC, which will provide crucial clues about what the central bank is thinking over the timing to carry its first interest rate hike since 2006.
The Federal Reserve has maintained its key federal funds rate pegged from 0 to 0.25 percent since late 2008 in order to contribute in the recovery of the ailing economy after the Great Recession in 2008-2009.
Last year in October, the US central bank ended its massive quantitive easing (QE) or asset-purchase program and signaled toward an interest rate hike this year.
According to most of the analysts, the key interest rates are expected to increase by June.
The data released on Tuesday provided mixed signals on the prevailing economic conditions of the United States. The US Consumer confidence surged in January to the highest level since 2007, as per the report of the Conference Board.
As far as the housing sector is considered, a report by the US Commerce Department showed new-home sales gained sharply in December from November, up 8.8 percent from a year ago.
Now all eyes are set on the statement post-FOMC meeting on Wednesday.