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WASHINGTON, DC—After all that drama, all that careful preparation of the market, after the hints and the speeches, the Federal Reserve Bank backed away from the cliff. As the headlines shrieked shortly after 2 pm ET on Thursday, the Federal Reserve Bank left short-term interest rates untouched — or, to be precise, it announced it was reaffirming its view that the current zero to one-quarter percent target range for the federal funds rate “remains appropriate.” It appears that the era of near-zero interest rates, now in its seventh year, will continue for a bit longer.

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