The Federal Open Market Committee decided to hold monetary policy where it was since large-scale asset purchase programs "were nearing completion and neither the economic outlook nor financial conditions had changed appreciably since the December meeting," according to minutes of the Jan. 26-27 meeting, which were released yesterday.

The FOMC affirmed its intention to purchase $1.25 trillion of agency mortgage-backed securities and $175 billion of agency debt by the end of the quarter and "gradually slow the pace of these purchases," according to the minutes.

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