United States stocks step back while overseas markets rally


United States stocks step back while overseas markets rally

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 4 points, or 0.2%, to 2,380 as of 11:26 a.m. EDT.

Yesterday, Wall Street scored solid gains and the Nasdaq Composite index hit an all-time high.

But the dollar struggled to make more progress through the European morning and waned as NY traders arrived at their desks.

Four Gulf central banks - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain, also with currencies pegged or loosely tied to the dollar, also raised interest rates.

Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasuries nursed their heaviest falls since last August. Gold rose $27.90, or 2.3%, to $1,228.60 an ounce, silver rose 46 cents to $17.39 an ounce and copper rose 2 cents to $2.67 a pound.

The Fed also released the FOMC members' latest interest rate forecasts, which suggested the US central bank is now expected to carry out two more interest rate hikes during this year for a total of three increases, unchanged from the previous outlook.

HEALTH CARE, FINANCIAL STOCKS SINK: Amgen had the biggest loss in the S&P 500 after results from a study of its cholesterol drug Repatha disappointed investors. The jobless rate rose to 5.9 percent, compared with analysts' expectations for a steady 5.7 percent, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed on Thursday.

USA stocks slipped on Thursday pressured by healthcare shares as traders cashed in gains from one of the best performing sectors so far this year.

IBM was up 1.2 percent and was the top stock on the Dow. They have often moved in the same direction recently because higher rates would allow banks to charge more for loans and earn bigger profits.

South Korea´s market climbed 0.6 percent, and even Japan´s Nikkei managed a slight rise despite the damage done to exporters by a firmer yen.

Platinum crept up 0.03% to $953.75 US, while palladium was up 1.8% at $777.70 U.S. The first G-20 finance meeting since tough-talking Donald Trump was elected president is likely to focus on concerns over protectionism and currencies.

A protracted bout of weakness for the USA dollar would be seen as positive for commodities priced in the currency, said Richard Franulovich, a forex analyst at Westpac. Brent crude, which is used to price global oils, rose 26 cents to $52.00 a barrel.

Gold's value tends to rise in times of market volatility and when the dollar weakens.

At German lender Commerzbank AG, currency analyst Antje Praefcke also said that "the euro seemed unimpressed" Thursday, but warned that the euro remains vulnerable because "political risks in the eurozone remain high with a view to the French elections". The dollar fell 0.5 percent against a basket of key currencies, adding to Wednesday's steep slide after the Fed's decision.

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