Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the end of the Fed’s $600 billion bond-buying program in June probably won’t have a “significant” effect on financial markets or the economy, and the central bank will likely continue reinvesting maturing debt after June.
“We are going to complete the program at the end of the second quarter,” he said at his first press conference following a policy meeting. “The end of the program is unlikely to have a significant effect on financial markets or the economy.”
Bernanke spoke after the central bank today reiterated its view that surging commodity prices are likely to have a transitory effect on inflation and agreed to finish its program of large-scale asset purchases on schedule. U.S. stocks rose, sending benchmark indexes to almost three-year highs, and Treasuries fell after the Fed renewed its pledge to keep rates low for an “extended period.”