US stocks fell back into the red on Wednesday, putting equities down for three of the last four sessions as investors reacted to reports of possible new US-China trade frictions.
Markets in the UK and US have tumbled with analysts attributing the drop to growing fears of a global slowdown. The FTSE 100 saw its worst day of trading this year, closing 2% lower. In the US, the three main indexes ended between 1.9% and 2.5% lower.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Jay Powell took steps to reassure financial markets on Friday, saying that the US central bank would be patient about rate rises. He also defended his independence, saying he would not resign if requested by US President Donald Trump.
The US economy created many more jobs than expected in December, according to the latest government data. Employers added 312,000 jobs, far ahead of predictions of 177,000, the Labor Department said.
Wall Street marked its best day in 10 years as stocks rallied back on Wednesday, giving some post-Christmas hope to a market that has otherwise been battered this December. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 1,000 points — its biggest point-gain ever — rising nearly 5% as investors returned from a holiday break. The benchmark S&P 500 index also gained 5% and the technology heavy Nasdaq rose 5.8%.
Latin American currencies failed to gain against a weak dollar on Tuesday, as cautious investors pared exposure ahead of the end of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day meeting on Wednesday, while Latin American stocks ticked up in line with their U.S. peers.
United States share markets suffered on Wednesday their sharpest one-day falls in months, as fears about rising interest rates, inflation, trade tensions intensified. The tech-heavy Nasdaq led the declines, sliding 4%, or 315.9 points, to 7,422. The Dow Jones and S&P 500 also fell by more than 3%, with losses accelerating towards the end of the day. Netflix fell 8%, while Amazon slid 6%.
General Electric is losing its place on the Dow Jones Industrial Average after more than 100 years in a move that reflects a fall in the firm's fortunes and changes to the US economy. Walgreens Boots Alliance is to take its spot on the financial index, which tracks shares of 30 companies deemed representative of the US economy. The change takes effect on 26 June.
The US Federal Reserve raised the benchmark lending rate on Wednesday, the second increase of the year, and signaled it will be more aggressive about rate increases this year and next amid “strong” economic growth. The unanimous vote brings the federal funds rate to a range of 1.75 to 2%, but the quarterly economic forecasts show central bankers now expect the rate to end the year at 2.4% rather than the 2.1% projected in March.
Wall Street is shocked, but it shouldn't be: Tariffs targeting China should have been a given, and now the market's tanking on trade war fears as if it just crept up on everyone, but Trump's been very clear on this.