Markets dip on fears US will end its QE programme

US markets edged lower last night after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s December meeting showed that some were in favour of ending the central bank’s quantitative easing programme.

The minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee, released after the close of UK markets on Thursday, showed that the committee was divided over whether to continue its bond-buying and may end the program in 2013.

The news sent both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones slightly lower last night, while pushing the US dollar up to its highest level in two and a half years.

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The FTSE 100 opened 0.15 per cent lower this morning after closing at 6,047 last night, but has since recovered to trade in positive territory.

Positive US sentiment had been damaged further last night by a statement from the International Monetary Reserve that criticised the last minute budget deal over the fiscal cliff as nothing but a short term fix and that the government needed a “comprehensive plan” in place to “ensure higher revenues and containment of entitlement spending”.