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Overnight Markets: Rate rise expectations weigh on US stocks

Overnight Markets: Rate rise expectations weigh on US stocks

Wall Street finished lower on Thursday, with the Dow snapping a nine-day winning streak, as investors braced for a third interest rate hike this year and the US ordered new sanctions against North Korea.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 53 points, or 0.24%, to 22,359, the S&P 500 lost eight points, or 0.30%, to 2,501 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 33 points, or 0.52%, to 6,423.

The S&P and the Dow snapped a run of record closing highs and Apple (AAPL.O) was the biggest drag on the three major indexes with a 1.7% drop on worries about demand for its latest smartphone.

Investors increased bets the US Federal Reserve would raise rates again this year after the central bank’s statement on Wednesday and were also assessing its decision to start reducing its roughly $4.2 trillion in US Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.

US President Donald Trump opened the door to blacklisting people and entities doing business with North Korea, further tightening the screws on Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes.

Only two of the 11 major S&P sectors - financials and industrials - were higher, with gains of 0.2% and 0.3%. The consumer staples index was the biggest decliner, down 0.97%.

Among the biggest movers, technology shares fell 0.4%, pressured by Apple and Nvidia Corp., which shed 2.7%. Facebook Inc. dropped 0.6%.

Shares of Calgon Carbon Corp. soared 62% after the maker of air- and water-purification products reached a $1.1 billion deal to be bought by Japan’s Kuraray.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. earlier rose on reports that it would be working with Tesla Inc. to produce a chip for the car maker’s Autopilot, but the stock surrendered those gains to trade down 2.4%. Tesla was also off 2%.

Ash Grove Cement Co. soared 83% after Irish building-materials company CRH PLC said it would buy the US cement maker in a $3.5 billion deal.

In Asia, stocks fell on Friday in morning session on the mooted possibility of North Korea conducting another hydrogen bomb test, this time in the Pacific Ocean.

Japan's Nikkei 225 erased early gains to trade down 0.29%. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi fell 0.58%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.23%. China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 0.45% and the Shenzhen Composite shed 0.43%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.69%.

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