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US close: Stocks end session lower following FOMC update

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Wednesday 16 Jun 2021

US close: Stocks end session lower following FOMC update

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks ended the session in the red following a press conference held by Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.77% at 34,033.67, while the S&P 500 was 0.54% weaker at 4,223.70 and the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 0.24% softer at 14,039.68.

The Dow Jones closed 265.66 points lower on Wednesday as eyes were fixed on the Federal Reserve.

Wednesday's primary focus was a move by Central bankers in the US that saw them nudged up their individual projections for short-term interest rates in 2022 and 2023 at their two-day policy meeting, although they didn't actually discuss potential dates for the so-called 'lift-off' in rates. The median projection of participants on the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed's main policy-making body, was now for two hikes in 2023.

Furthermore, while no interest rate hikes were expected in 2021, a few more FOMC participants than at March's policy meeting now also expected hikes in 2022 while many more now saw hikes arriving in 2023. The highest projection for the Fed funds rate in 2023 was now at 1.6%, versus 1.1% in March, when policy-makers last published their projections for rates.

In the corporate arena, Citigroup chief financial officer Mark Mason warned that trading revenues could fall by around 30% in the second quarter, while Regeneron shares were down despite a large trial showing that its antibody cocktail cut the risk of death among Covid-19 patients in the hospital by 20%.

Elsewhere, WalkMe was in focus after the firm's initial public offering had reportedly been priced to go at $31 per share - versus an anticipated IPO range of $29-32.


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