US STOCKS closed down yesterday, driven by a sharp decline in the S&P 500 energy sector, after the Federal Reserve said the domestic economy was growing at a solid pace, signalling it remains on track to raise interest rates later this year.
Concluding their first policy-setting meeting of the year, Fed officials said they would be “patient” on raising rates.
The US dollar strengthened further after the Fed statement, putting renewed pressure on oil, which dipped to its lowest level since early 2009. This pushed energy stocks down further.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 195.84 points, or 1.13 per cent, to 17,191.37, the S&P 500 lost 27.39 points, or 1.35 per cent, to 2,002.16 and the Nasdaq dropped 43.50 points, or 0.93 per cent, to 4,637.99.
A 5.7 per cent advance in Apple shares limited losses on the Nasdaq, while Boeing added 5.4 per cent.