US stock indices reversed earlier gains and ended lower after hawkish comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. The S&P 500 fell 1.3% to 2744.28. Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.2% to 25410.03. The NASDAQ Composite index dropped1.2% to 7330.35. The dollar resumed strengthening: the live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, rose 0.6% to 90.35. Futures on main US stock indices point to lower openings today.
European stocks turned lower on Tuesday as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s upbeat assessment of the US economy revived concerns the Fed may increase rates more aggressively than currently expected. Both euro and British Pound resumed the slide against the dollar. The Stoxx Europe 600 lost 0.2% led by consumer goods and telecom shares. The German DAX 30 closed 0.3% lower at 12490.73. France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.01% and UK’s FTSE 100 dipped 0.1% to 7282.45. Indices opened 0.3%-0.5% lower today.
Asian stock indices are falling with weak Chinese and Japanese data adding to rate hike concerns spurred by Fed Chair Powell’s hawkish comments. Nikkei extended losses closing 1.4% lower at 22080.50 as yen turned higher against the dollar supported by Bank of Japan’s decision to trim purchases of super long bonds. The sentiment was hurt also by the biggest tumble in Japan’s industrial output in January since the March 2011 earthquake. Chinese stocks are falling after the report the pace of growth in China's manufacturing activity fell sharply in February as plants closed for the Lunar New Year and demand for Chinese exports dipped: the Shanghai Composite Index is down 1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 1.4% lower. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index is down 0.7% as Australian dollar resumed advancing against the greenback.
Brent futures prices are stable today. Prices fell yesterday on concerns over growth in US domestic output and expectations of build in US crude stocks. The American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday report indicated US crude inventories rose by 0.9 million barrels to 421.2 million last week. Today at 16:30 CET the Energy Information Administration will release US Crude Oil Inventories.
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