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Few dealers expected the Federal Reserve to decide to pare back its massive bond-buying stimulus program in December, after the U.S. central bank surprised many investors by continuing the purchases at an unchanged pace in September, according to the results of a poll by the New York Fed released on Thursday. The poll, taken before the Fed’s December 17-18 meeting, when it reduced its monthly Treasuries and mortgage-backed program by $10 billion to $75 billion beginning in January, showed that only 25 percent of primary dealers expected the Fed would cut its purchases of Treasuries in December, and only 18 percent expected a reduction in mortgage-backed securities.

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