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By Lucy Bayly

The Federal Reserve announced today that it will not raise the interest rate, staying the course amid a disappointing earnings cycle and a post-Brexit landscape. Central bank officials were meeting this week for the first time since Britain jostled the markets by voting to pull out of membership in the European Union.

The interest rate remains in the 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent range.

In its statement released on Wednesday after the two-day meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee noted a stronger labor market and diminished “near-term risks to the economic outlook.”

The statement also said that despite soft business investment, “household spending has been growing strongly.”

Wall Street had been trading lower for the first half of Wednesday ahead of the announcement, with weak oil prices but strong tech earnings – led by Apple’s rise of 6.5 percent in share value buoyed by larger-than-expected iPhone sales.

Traders said they don’t expect a rate hike until June 2017.

"I think you will see a slight move in position where the Fed is going to suggest that they are looking to raise rates at least once this year," Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment strategist at Cornerstone Financial Partners, told Reuters ahead of the meeting.