Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
Markets | By Lucia Cruz

US Equities Slide as Health-Care, Utility Stocks Decline

US Equities Slide as Health-Care, Utility Stocks Decline

A statement from the Fed said the decision to raise rates came in light of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation. Gold rose $27.90, or 2.3%, to $1,228.60 an ounce, silver rose 46 cents to $17.39 an ounce and copper rose 2 cents to $2.67 a pound.

Japan's Nikkei 225 is down 0.2 percent Wednesday while Germany's DAX is 0.1 percent higher.

US stocks added to gains, while Treasury yields fell and the dollar weakened on Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the second time in three months but did not flag any plan to accelerate the pace of monetary tightening.

Precious metals prices climbed on Thursday to their highest level in over a week after the U.S. central bank signalled only gradual rate tightening and the dollar slid to its lowest in five weeks.

Analysts said the election this week in Holland had calmed concerns over political risk in Europe, as Dutch center-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte fought off the challenge of anti-Islam and anti-EU rival Geert Wilders. "The surge we've seen in the last couple of days has been correlated with what we've seen in bonds and stocks", said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist for US Bank Wealth management in Seattle.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD held steady at 1.2364, off an earlier two-week peak of 1.2399. The benchmark one-year commercial lending rate was unchanged. Although there are lingering concerns about Trump's ability to implement his pro-business agenda, their enactment could cause the Fed to quicken its pace of rate increases-a negative for gold. The lack of a reaction in markets before and after the election, however, shows that few investors were expecting the far right to gain any significant power in the Netherlands' heavily-fragment parliamentary system.

Trump's tax return got Rachel Maddow her highest ratings ever
Some 4.1 million people reportedly watched Rachel Maddow reveal that Donald Trump paid nearly $40 million in taxes for 2005. Maddow teased her audience almost 90 minutes before the show began that she "seriously" had the president's tax returns.

KPCC Chief VM Sudheeran Steps Down Due to 'Health Reasons'
Reportedly, some A Group members had issued threats of an en masse resignation, if the party is not ready to remove Sudheeran. Also, Sudheeran took a stern stand when corruption charges were surfaced against the ministers in the Congress Government.

Chinese president to meet with Trump
Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 17, 2017. Trump has also written to Xi since he took office on January 20, seeking "constructive ties".

Futures for the S&P 500 pointed to a strong opening on Wall Street.

Data:French inflation rose 1.2% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/french-inflation-confirmed-as-slowing-in-february-2017-03-15) on the year in February, slowing from January's rate, statistics agency Insee said.

Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New York-listed SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), fell 0.28% on Thursday, the first outflow this week.

ENERGY PAIN: The drop in oil prices resumes a slide that's been ongoing since late last month.

On Thursday, Hong Kong stocks were up 1.7 percent, Shanghai adding 0.8 percent and Seoul advancing 0.8 percent.

Canada's main stock index rose on Thursday, with the materials group leading broadbased gains as base and precious metal prices gained further ground following the Federal Reserve interest rate decision the day before.

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