Equities fall after Fed keeps rates on hold, dollar up
NEW YORK (Reuters) – World equity markets declined on Thursday, snapping a seven-session winning streak, with U.S. stocks on the defensive and the dollar strengthening after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged.
The U.S. central bank held rates steady and said ongoing strong job gains and household spending had kept the economy on track. Its statement showed little change in the Fed’s outlook for the economy since the Fed’s previous meeting in September aside from noting that “business investment had moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year.”
U.S. shares extended losses after the Fed statement, on the heels of Wednesday’s post-election rally of more than 2 percent. Those gains came as investors celebrated political gridlock in the United States as Democrats took control of the House of Representatives after the midterm congressional vote, while Republicans maintained control of the Senate.
A spate of weak earnings also gave investors reason for pause, with Qualcomm (QCOM.O) one of the biggest drags on the benchmark S&P 500 index, down 8.2 percent as the loss of chip sales to Apple (AAPL.O) caused the company to cut its fourth-quarter outlook.
“There are those people who are unsatisfied by this statement because they were looking for a more dovish tone after last month’s market volatility,” said Gene Tannuzzo, deputy global head of fixed income at Columbia Threadneedle In Minneapolis.
“That’s why we see short-term yields ticked up and stocks down here. They are still on track.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 11.12 points, or 0.04 percent, to 26,191.42, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 7.05 points, or 0.25 percent, to 2,806.84 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 39.87 points, or 0.53 percent, to 7,530.89.
European shares closed higher, led by banking shares .SX7P following results from names such as SocGen (SOGN.PA) and Commerzbank (CBKG.DE).
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.19 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS shed 0.28 percent.
The dollar had advanced heading into the Fed statement and added to its gains after weakening in the prior session.
Traders currently see a 71.4 percent chance the Fed will raise rates by a quarter percentage point at its December meeting, according to CME’s FedWatch, up from 68.8 percent on Nov 1.
The dollar index .DXY rose 0.71 percent, with the euro EUR= down 0.58 percent to $1.1358.
Oil prices fell and WTI entered a bear market, down more than 20 percent from its Oct 3 high, as crude surrendered early gains as investors focused on swelling global supply, which is increasing faster than many had expected.
U.S. crude CLcv1 settled down 1.62 percent at $60.67 a barrel and Brent LCOcv1 last settled at $70.65, down 1.97 percent.
Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes US10YT=RR last fell 8/32 in price to yield 3.241 percent, from 3.213 percent late on Wednesday.
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