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Overnight Markets: US stocks edge lower on Fed rate move

The energy sector fell nearly 2% on weak oil prices, while tech shares resumed downward path led by Apple.

 
Overnight Markets: US stocks edge lower on Fed rate move

US stocks fell on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the second time in three months, as the tech sell-off returned and weaker oil prices weighed on the energy shares.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nine points, or 0.04%, to 21,319, the S&P 500 lost nine points, or 0.38%, to 2,431 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 56 points, or 0.9%, to 6,165.

The Fed cited continued US economic growth and job market strength, proceeding with its first tightening cycle in more than a decade. The central bank clearly outlined a plan to reduce its $4.2 trillion portfolio of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities, most of which were purchased in the wake of the 2007-2009 financial crisis and recession.

In economic news, consumer prices unexpectedly fell on month in May and the annual increase in core CPI slipped to 1.7%, the smallest rise since May 2015, after advancing 1.9% in April.

Retail sales fell 0.3% last month - the largest fall since January 2016 and way below economists' expectations for a 0.1% gain.

The technology sector was down 1.2%, with Apple off 1.6%. The energy sector fell nearly 2% as oil prices weakened.

In corporate news, Alexion was up 8% after the biotechnology company named Biogen's chief financial officer as its CFO. Biogen's stock was down 3.5%.

H & R Block was the biggest percentage gainer on the S&P 500, rising 8.4% after the tax preparation service posted quarterly revenue and profit that beat analysts' expectations.

In Asia, equities turned cautious on Thursday in morning session after the Fed raised interest rates, as was widely expected by markets.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 edged lower by 0.6% while the Kospi gave up earlier gains to decline 0.75%.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 tumbled 1.13%. Markets in greater China were mixed, with the Hang Seng Index falling 0.91% in early trade. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite edged higher by 0.03% and the Shenzhen Composite was up by 0.23%.

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