Stocks extend losses following Fed minutes; yields rise

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stock indexes globally added to declines in choppy trading on Wednesday following the release of minutes from the latest U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, while the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose to a session high and the U.S. dollar index gained.

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a facial mask, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, stands in front of an electric board showing Nikkei (top in C) and other countries stock index outside a brokerage at a business district in Tokyo, Japan, January 4, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

The minutes showed participants agreed the U.S. economy remained far from the Fed’s goals. At the same time, a number of Fed policymakers thought that if the economy continued to show rapid progress, then it would be appropriate “at some point” for upcoming meetings to begin discussing tapering of monetary policy measures.

“Anything short of reinforcing the uber-dovish stance the Fed has had is, at a time when the market is already getting a little jittery with regard to inflation, is what’s compounding the sell-off, which could have been catalyzed by next to anything,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.

Equity investors have been worrying that rising inflationary pressures could prompt the Fed to pare back its support sooner than many anticipate.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 377.25 points, or 1.11%, to 33,683.41, the S&P 500 lost 37.76 points, or 0.91%, to 4,090.07 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 83.85 points, or 0.63%, to 13,219.78.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 1.51% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 1.07%.

The dollar index rose 0.457%, with the euro down 0.4% to $1.2171.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 14/32 in price to yield 1.6898%, from 1.642% late on Tuesday.

Earlier, cryptocurrencies plunged after regulatory moves by China.

Bitcoin plunged to its lowest level since January following China’s decision to ban financial and payment institutions from providing digital currency services.

Rival cryptocurrency Ethereum sank 28% to $2,444.

Oil prices dropped. Brent futures were down more than $2 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were also down more than $2 a barrel.

U.S. gold futures gained 0.92% to $1,881.30 an ounce.

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