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.

South Africa wins toss, bowls in 2nd test vs. New Zealand
The Proteas should field an unchanged line-up on a Basin Reserve wicket which isn't expected to offer any surprises. New Zealand: Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Kane Williamson (captain), Neil Broom, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, B.J.

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".

Apple Music Competitor 'Pandora Premium' Launching This Week With Invite-Only Access
Premium will be available this week on iOS and Android phones, Google Chromecast, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and in many cars. These updates come after SoundCloud released a SoundCloud Go last month giving users access to more songs.

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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