The US Federal Reserve last night kept interest rates unchanged and pointed to solid US economic growth and a strengthening labour market while playing down the impact of recent hurricanes, a sign it is on track to lift borrowing costs again in December.

Investors had all but ruled out a rate hike at the central bank's policy meeting this week and attention has largely been focused on who will be in charge of monetary policy at the end of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's first term in February 2018.

President Donald Trump is set to announce his nomination this afternoon with Fed Governor Jerome Powell, a soft-spoken centrist who has supported Ms Yellen's gradual approach to raising rates, seen as having a lock on the job.

"The labour market has continued to strengthen and... economic activity has been rising at a solid rate despite hurricane-related disruptions," the Fed's rate-setting committee said in a statement after its unanimous policy decision.

In keeping with that encouraging tone, the central bank's policymakers acknowledged that inflation remained soft but did not downgrade their assessment of pricing expectations.

US Treasury yields and short-term interest rate futures were little changed after the release of the statement, while federal fund futures put the odds of a December rate hike at about 98%, according to CME Group's FedWatch programme.