Fed minutes suggest QE3 could end soon

THE Federal Reserve last night hinted its current third round of quantitative easing (QE3) may come to an end earlier than planned, trigging a sell-off in US stock markets.

Minutes of the last Fed meeting show there is growing unease within the organisation over last September’s pledge to keep buying $85bn of assets a month until there has been a substantial recover in the US jobs market.

They reveal “a number of participants” at the rate-setting meeting expressed concern over the open-ended nature of the latest economic stimulus programme.

However Fed chairman Ben Bernanke appears to still have the backing of a majority of committee members in the short term, with the Fed voting 11-1 last month to keep its bond-buying program open-ended and at the same size.

Wall Street fell the most in three months after the minutes.