WASHINGTON — The Fed will purchase longer-term treasuries at a rate of $45 billion per month at the conclusion of Operation Twist this month, the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement released Wednesday following the FOMC's two-day meeting.

The FOMC also decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at zero to 0.25% and said it currently anticipates that exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate will likely be warranted as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5%

Richmond Fed President Jeffrey M. Lacker opposed continuing to purchase additional assets and preferred to omit the description of the time period during which the federal funds rate might be kept at very low levels.

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