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Fed update weighs down Wall Street, adds fuel to the dollar

EconomyJun 18, 2021 04:51PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People wear protective masks as they walk past a panel displaying the Hang Seng Index during morning trading following the outbreak of the new coronavirus in Hong Kong, China March 2, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu 2/2

By Pete Schroeder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -All three main indices on Wall Street dropped Friday with investors wary of a more hawkish stance from the U.S. Federal Reserve, while the dollar posted the strongest gains in over a year and oil prices continued a steady climb.

After starting the week near record highs, U.S. stocks have steadily dropped since Fed officials projected Wednesday that interest rates may rise sooner than previously expected.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 533.37 points, or 1.58%, marking the worst week for the blue-chip index since January. The S&P 500 lost 55.41 points, or 1.31%, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 130.97 points, or 0.92%.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, fell 8.87 points or 1.24%.

Stocks were trending downward after the Wednesday policy update from the Fed, but that decline became sharper after Friday morning comments from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who said he thought the Fed could raise rates as soon as next year.

Those comments were offset somewhat later in the day by Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari, who said he didn't see interest rate hikes until 2024.

The Fed maintained it planned to keep up unprecedented monetary support until the jobs market had fully recovered, and that any acceleration of a stimulus exit is due to the strong gains expected from the U.S. economy coming out of the pandemic.

But the prospect of earlier interest rate hikes helped nudge investors away from a stock market that had been near record highs at the start of the week.

"I'm not surprised to see the market sell off a little bit. I'm never surprised, given the strong run we've had for such a long period of time, when you see some periods of profit-taking," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York.

The Fed stance provided fuel to the U.S. dollar, as the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six major currencies, jumped 0.43% on Friday to 92.314, its highest price since mid-April. The index is on pace for its strongest weekly gain in roughly 14 months, as investors seek some safety in the dollar from other currencies after a light surprise from the Fed.

Oil shook off earlier losses to add to its recent gains following reports OPEC expected limited U.S. oil output growth this year.

Brent crude futures rose 43 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $73.51 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 60 cents, or 0.8%, to $71.64 a barrel. Both benchmarks were headed for a weekly gain of about 1.1%.

"Despite a complete return to pre-pandemic life in the US, energy companies are cautious over keeping their balance sheets in order and will remain disciplined over making commitments over new wells," wrote Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA. "The oil market does not have to worry about oversupply concerns anytime soon and that is keeping crude prices supported despite a broad selloff with commodities."

Long-dated U.S. Treasury yields fell Friday as the bond market absorbed the Fed news, with the yield curve flattening on the bet the Fed will move more quickly to tackle persistent inflation pressures. The benchmark 10-year notes were last at 1.445%. [US/]

The Fed took its toll on safe-haven gold this week. Spot gold was down 0.61% to $1,762.63 per ounce, with prices down roughly 5.7% on the week. U.S. gold futures settled 0.3% down at $1,769 an ounce.

Fed update weighs down Wall Street, adds fuel to the dollar
 

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Comments (11)
Alan Rice
Alan Rice Jun 20, 2021 1:30PM ET
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Goldbugs: Not to worry : -$28,000,000,000,000.00
Semih Unalan
Semih Unalan Jun 18, 2021 5:22PM ET
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How is it possible that a man as experienced as Bullard does not know what his words will lead to? They must check whether his friends or family made any money shorting the market.
Todd Gray
Todd Gray Jun 18, 2021 3:57PM ET
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the fed could just as easily move up the time table again.
Todd Gray
Todd Gray Jun 18, 2021 3:56PM ET
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the FED could
Iyarin Boonnum
Iyarin Boonnum Jun 18, 2021 11:14AM ET
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The party is over
Jobin Jose
Jobin Jose Jun 18, 2021 6:32AM ET
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what is hawkish fed?any one explain?how it will affect gold futures?
Dhaval Khilosiya
Dhaval Khilosiya Jun 18, 2021 6:32AM ET
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nothing it's just ***** off ...it's just reason to Drop the Gold... nothing else...
Gee Oxie
Gee Oxie Jun 18, 2021 6:32AM ET
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Dhaval Khilosiya looks like a bug on gold as inflation data continue to print high. Doesnt make sense they pushing hold down.
marcus daily
marcus daily Jun 18, 2021 6:32AM ET
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Hawkish means Fed raises rates because inflation is gwtting high
Biji Rajaku
Biji Rajaku Jun 18, 2021 2:36AM ET
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It's going up not slip
Mario tragik
Mario tragik Jun 18, 2021 1:35AM ET
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hawkish fed, these headlines I tell you. rates remained the same.
Joel Schwartz
Joel Schwartz Jun 18, 2021 1:35AM ET
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Think about how leap options work. FED says they’ll raise rates in 2023, institutions and retail have billions of dollars in 2023 leaps and calls they have to adjust accordingly. This has massive ripple effects.
Steffen vdm
Steffen vdm Jun 18, 2021 1:31AM ET
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This months word is: hawkish
Options Trader
Options Trader Jun 18, 2021 12:44AM ET
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hawkish fed?
Matt Novakovich
Matt Novakovich Jun 17, 2021 11:41PM ET
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hawkish, dovish? either way print more money
Franco Dominguez
Franco Dominguez Jun 17, 2021 11:41PM ET
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this is a crazy party
Joel Schwartz
Joel Schwartz Jun 17, 2021 11:41PM ET
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Dollar index is calling their bluff.
 
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