The Federal Reserve said on Tuesday it was considering lifting the ban on bond purchases by the Federal Open Market Committee, a move likely to trigger a new round of selloffs.
The Fed has not lifted the ban since it was lifted in January, but it has cut its benchmark overnight interest rate by 0.25 percentage point to 0.066 percent.
The Federal Reserve on Tuesday also began buying short-term Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Those purchases will not be available to investors until late next week, the Fed said.
The Fed’s decision comes as markets were on edge after a government shutdown last week that temporarily halted the market’s trading for months.
It was the first time since the Depression that a central bank stopped buying short term government debt.