A top U.S. central bank official warned financial markets Thursday they're reading the Federal Reserve wrong if they think a tightening in monetary policy has gotten closer.

"A rise in short-term rates is very likely to be a long way off" even as it's possible that the central bank may slow the pace of its bond-buying program later this year, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said in a press briefing.


Mr. Dudley, who is at the core of Fed monetary policy decision making, said "let me emphasize that such an expectation would be quite out of sync with both FOMC statements and the expectations of most FOMC participants."

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