Overseas Market Report

Wall Street has closed slightly lower as tech and financial shares slumped, erasing earlier gains stemming from Federal Reserve minutes showing the central bank opened the debate on when to pause further interest rate hikes. All three major US indexes ended the session down a fraction of a per cent.The minutes showed almost all Fed members agreeing that another rate increase was “likely to be warranted fairly soon,” but also ticked off a series of issues that had begun weighing on their view of the economy. That release briefly lifted equities to the plus side, but gains faded into the close. Wall Street rallied a day earlier as comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell signalled to many investors that the Fed’s three-year tightening cycle could be drawing to a close.

“The Fed’s stance is much more dovish than it was earlier in the year,” said Matthew Keator, partner in the Keator Group, a wealth management firm in Lenox, Massachusetts. “(The Fed has) also signalled they’re going to look at data as opposed to just being ideologically set on a particular policy of just raising rates to more normal historical averages.”

Tariff jitters continued to preoccupy investors as they eyed the upcoming G20 summit in Buenos Aires, where US President Donald Trump was due to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Saturday to discuss trade. Trump sent mixed signals on Thursday about a potential trade deal between the world’s two largest economies, lending to a choppy session.

Technology shares weighed the most on all three major US stock indexes, with the S&P 500 technology sector down 0.95 per cent. Interest rate-sensitive financials dropped 0.8 per cent, as US 10-year Treasury yields continued to fall following the release of the Fed minutes. Among large US banks, shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co , Citigroup Inc, Bank of America Corp, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley ended the session down between 0.8 and 1.8 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27.59 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 25,338.84, the S&P 500 lost 5.99 points, or 0.22 per cent, to 2737.8 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 18.51 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 7273.08.

Morning Market Note - Friday 30th November
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