December 13, 2017
Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Wall Street dips as healthcare lags before Fed statement

Healthcare and materials stocks pulled Wall Street lower on Tuesday in a second straight day of quiet trading as investors cautiously awaited news from the US Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting.

While the Fed is not expected to raise interest rates at its meeting ending on Wednesday, investors will scour Fed Chair Janet Yellen's comments for clues indicating a path for future rate hikes.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 22.4 points, or 0.13 percent, at 17,251.53, the S&P 500 lost 3.71 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,015.93 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 21.61 points, or 0.45 percent, to 4,728.67.

European shares retreated led lower by commodity stocks, after the Bank of Japan left policy unchanged but presented a bleaker view of the country's economy.

The STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources index fell 4.7 percent, the top sectoral decliner, as copper prices dipped. The European oil and gas index was also down 1.8 percent as crude oil prices slipped.

Shares in BHP Billiton, Glencore, Rio Tinto and Antofagasta fell 3.9 to 6.5 percent, putting pressure on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index , which fell 1.1 percent at 1,341.5 points.

Japanese stocks fell after the central bank decided to leave its main policies unchanged, resulting in a stronger yen that pushed exporter shares lower.

The Nikkei share average declined as much as 1.1 percent shortly after the Bank of Japan announced its decision. Japan's benchmark index gained back some ground to end 0.7 percent lower at 17,117.07.

The profit outlook for major exporters was hurt by the stronger yen, with Toyota Motor Corp shares ending 1.8 lower and Panasonic Corp share falling 1.4 percent.

The broader Topix slid 0.6 percent to end the day at 1,372.08 with all but 8 of its 33 subindexes in negative territory. The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 0.7 percent to 12,399.15.

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Tags:  US  stock market  Europe  Nikkei  

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