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Overnight Markets: Wall Street slips as Fed lifts rates again

Overnight Markets: Wall Street slips as Fed lifts rates again

US stock benchmarks slipped on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates as expected, but signalled a slightly more aggressive plan to tighten monetary policy in the coming months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 120 points, or 0.5%, to 25,201. The S&P 500 fell 11 points, or 0.4%, at 2,776. The Nasdaq Composite Index, meanwhile, shed eight points, or 0.1%, at 7,696.

In its decision yesterday, the US central bank raised its benchmark overnight lending rate a quarter of a percentage point to a range of between 1.75% and 2%. Two additional hikes are now expected by the end of this year, compared to one previously.

Shares declined after the decision, but recovered some ground in late trading following comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell during a news conference.

On the data front, a measure of wholesale inflation surged 0.5% in May, against the backdrop of rising oil prices, adding upward pressure on inflation.

Media and telecom shares were in the spotlight after a ruling that approved AT&T Inc’s $85 billion deal to buy Time Warner Inc.

Shares of HBO channel owner Time Warner added 2.6%. AT&T fell 5.5%, sending the S&P telecom services index down 3.9%.

Twenty-First Century Fox surged 6.9% on expectations Comcast Corp would outbid Walt Disney Co for some of its assets.

The consumer-discretionary sector closed 0.1% higher but losses were led by a 0.4% drop in energy and consumer staples.

Elsewhere, Boeing Co. and Caterpillar Inc. both closed down by nearly 2%, weighing on the Dow.

In Asia, share markets declined on Thursday in morning session after the Fed’s decision to raise rates.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.73%. In Seoul, the Kospi lost 0.76% in early trade. Elsewhere, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.17%. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.47%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.14%.

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