By Jonathan Davies

The US Federal Reserve has hinted that interest rates may be raised in the near future.

The word "patience" was removed from its regular statement, which usually suggested a raise in interest rates may be some way off.

Interest rates in the US have been at the record low of 0% since 2008 during the financial crisis.

Despite the hints, the Fed still stressed that it would wait until it sees "further improvement" in the US economy.

US stock markets rose sharply on the news - lower rates make it cheaper to borrow, and the longer interest rates stay low, the longer US businesses can borrow cheaply.

At the end of the Fed's two-day policy meeting, it said that growth in the US economy had "moderated somewhat" since January. Head of the Fed, Janet Yellen, said the the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) did "not want to rule out the possibility" of raising interest rates, but said it would "depend on the committee's assessment if incoming information".

"Just because we removed the word patient from the statement doesn't mean we're going to be impatient," she added.