US stocks decline amid Fed Chair's testimony

Southeast asia stocks rise
Representational picture Reuters

US stocks reversed early gains to end sharply lower on Tuesday as Wall Street eyed the testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 299.24 points, or 1.16 percent, to 25,410.03, reports Xinhua.

The S&P 500 decreased 35.32 points, or 1.27 percent, to 2,744.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 91.11 points, or 1.23 percent, to 7,330.35.

Powell said in his first monetary policy testimony on Tuesday that despite the stock market's recent volatility, Fed governors still plan on hiking rates multiple times throughout 2018.

He told lawmakers "gradually reducing monetary policy accommodation will sustain a strong labour market while fostering a return of inflation to two percent."

The new chair signalled the central bank could hike rates more than three times this year should economic and inflation data continue to prove healthy.

According to the minutes for Fed's policy meeting on January 30 and 31, Fed officials have become more confident about the growth and inflation outlook. The Fed is expected to raise interest rates for the first time this year at the next policy meeting in March.

On the economic front, US new orders for manufactured durable goods in January decreased $9.2 billion, or 3.7 percent, to $239.7 billion, worse than market consensus of a two percent decline, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday.

In a separate report, the department announced that the international trade deficit in goods was $74.4 billion in January, up $2.1 billion from the December reading. (IANS)

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