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Don't sweat the prospect of no Fed rate cuts, economist says — markets will still march higher

Markets will continue to rally even if the Federal Reserve chooses not to cut interest rates this year, according to Steven Blitz, chief U.S. economist at TS Lombard.

His comments come as investors await the release of further U.S. economic data and closely monitor clues from Fed officials about the expected number of interest rate cuts in 2024.

Last week, the U.S. central bank left interest rates unchanged for the fifth consecutive time, in line with expectations, keeping its benchmark overnight borrowing rate in a range between 5.25%-5.5%. The Fed also said at the time that it still expects three quarter-percentage point cuts by the end of the year.

The message fueled a market rally in the U.S. and overseas, with benchmark indexes climbing to fresh record highs since.

Asked on Thursday about the likelihood of one or no Fed interest rate cuts this year, Blitz said that it's "getting pretty good. You know that 0.4% month over month is a high number, and you know they are looking at that. They're not just looking at year over year."

"Really what is going on here is an evolution, right?" Blitz told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" on Thursday.

"They [the Fed] have already told you they are not going to hike rates to try to shorten that timeline of getting to 2%, so if you're the market you're like, 'well that's OK,'" Blitz said.

"The key is … let the markets figure that out, rather than the Fed imposing that view. Let everybody evolve to that position slowly, and then all's OK."

Traders are currently pricing in a roughly 55% chance of a first Fed rate cut in June, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. That's down from nearly 70% last week.

Blitz said markets will likely continue to march higher, even if the Fed decides not to impose any