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The US markets were sharply sold off across the key indices on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve moved to raise the country’s cash rate by 75-basis points for a fourth straight month, in a bid to tackle the nation’s 40-year high inflation. Federal Chair Jerome Powell said there were ‘no grounds for complacency’ but also said the chances of the US economy achieving a ‘soft landing’ and avoiding recession as it fights off inflation have ‘narrowed’. The Dow Jones industrials index fell 1.55%, the S&P500 shed 2.5% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq plunged 3.36%. Powell also indicated the Fed expects to raise interest rates to 4.4% by the end of this year.
Tech stocks tumbled on Wednesday, with Alphabet, Apple and Microsoft each slumping more than 3%. Trading volumes surged on Wednesday after the Fed handed down its latest interest rate hike with FactSet data showing volume was fairly muted ahead of the decision, with the widely followed SPDR S&P500 ETF which tracks the benchmark index, traded about 100.3m shares with roughly 20 minutes left in the session. The midweek global sell-off extended into Europe with Germany’s DAX falling 0.61%, the French CAC losing 0.81% and, in the UK, the FTSE100 closed 0.58% lower, as investors focus on the Fed’s aggressive rate hike moves.
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