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U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.


The U.S. Federal Reserve Board said on Wednesday it will change the release time of its monetary policy statements to 2 p.m. ET starting next week, narrowing the time between publication and the start of the Fed chairman's quarterly news conferences.

The news conference will begin around 2:30 p.m., while the Fed's quarterly economic and interest-rate projections will be published at 2 p.m., the same time as the minutely scrutinized policy statement.

The U.S. central bank's policy committee meets next Tuesday and Wednesday. It releases its statements on the second day of its meetings.

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Previously when news conferences were scheduled, the central bank released the statement at around 12:30 p.m. and the economic projections at 2 p.m., with the news conference following at 2:15 p.m. At non-news conference meetings, the statement had been released at roughly 2:15 p.m.

Financial markets were at times turbulent during the lengthy gap between the statement's publication and the start of the chairman's news conference. Shortening their wait for clarification of what the policy decision is designed to achieve could help dampen volatility.

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