In a choppy trading session overnight, U.S equities sold of late to end sharply lower giving up earlier gains, dragged down by continued worries on interest rates. More than half of the day’s losses came in the final hour of trading with the Dow losing more than 240 points in the final 60 minutes. The Dow finished the session down -380.83 points or -1.50%, the S&P500 lower by -30.45 points or -1.11% and the NASDAQ down by -57.35 points or -0.78%.
Notably the S&P500 pulled back 0.9 percent to close at 2,71.83 with all eleven sectors finishing lower. The energy sector was the largest decliner falling -2.29 percent after breaking below the 50-day moving average on the S&P500 which triggered further selling later in the day. The sector was also pushed down by declines in XOM -2.27%, EOG -5.16% and CHK -9.18%.
In earnings news, home improvement retailer Lowe’s (LOW) reported weaker than expected quarterly earnings, sending the company’s stock down more than 6%. On the other hand, Booking Holdings (BKNG), formerly known as Priceline saw its share spike 6.8% after reporting better than expected adjusted earnings. Notably, Celgene Corp’s (CELG) share price weighed heavily on the healthcare sector after the stock dropped 9.04% after health regulators rejected the company’s application seeking approval of a multiple sclerosis drug.
In currency markets, the dollar rose to five-week highs supported by an upbeat assessment for the U.S economy from the Federal Reserve’s new chairman, which raised expectations that the central bank could aggressively increase interest rates over the next two years. In late trading the dollar index rose to 90.657 whilst the euro stumbled to a six week low last trading at $1.296 down 0.3 percent and against the yen the dollar fell 0.6 percent to 106.70 yen.
On the ASX200 this morning we have seen continued weakness, the index is currently down -0.78% and trading at 5,968.801. Most if not all sectors are in the red, which is no surprise as energy stocks are leading the sharp declines. The sector is down -1.65% along with materials down -1.15% led by poor performances in ORE -8.41%, GXY -6.14% and MIN -5.31%. Some of the positive movers include CGC +1.79%, TWE +1.60% and NST +1.59%.
ORE chart attached