HONG KONG — Downplaying the weak March employment report, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser said Thursday there have been sufficient improvements in the labor market to begin scaling back Fed bond buying straightaway and said the Fed's third round of large-scale asset purchases should be wrapped up by year's end.

As the Fed ends asset purchases and moves in the direction of eventual Fed rate hikes, Plosser also urged that the Fed widen the spread between the federal funds rate and discount rate. And he said the Fed should reinvest proceeds of maturing securities in short-term, rather than long-term assets.

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