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US stocks fall as strong dollar hits oil, metals shares

Oct 05 2016 07:29

New York - US stocks fell on Tuesday, with commodities producers among the biggest losers as hawkish commentary from two Federal Reserve officials lifted the dollar.

US monetary policy was back in focus after the presidents of the Cleveland and Richmond branches of the Fed both argued the need for the Fed to soon lift interest rates in light of growth and inflation trends.

The comments helped boost the dollar, denting commodities traded in the US currency, including oil, copper and gold. Dow members ExxonMobil and Chevron both lost about one percent, while Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining plunged 11.2% and 10.1%, respectively.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.5% at 18 168.45.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.5% to 2 150.49, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.2% to 5 289.66.

Banking shares were mostly higher on raised expectations for a Federal Reserve interest rate increase, helped by the comments from the Fed policy-makers.

JPMorgan rose 0.9%, Bank of America 1.1% and Citigroup 1.5%.

Google parent Alphabet advanced 0.5% as it launched new premium-priced smartphones, along with new products in virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

Shareholders of Apple, whose iPhone is one of the targets of the Google effort, appeared unfazed; Apple shares rose 0.4%.

Cloud computing company Salesforce rose 3.0% on news it acquired the data management platform Krux for $340m plus a still-to-be-determined number of Salesforce shares worth at least $195m.

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