Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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Sudden jump in US interest rates prompts Wall Street stock plunge

Trump is briefed as major indices lose over three percent in a sell-off prompted by the sudden jump in interest rates.

Wall Street stocks have plunged, with major indices losing more than three percent in a sell-off prompted by the sudden jump in US interest rates.

At the closing bell in the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had lost 3.1 percent - or 830 points - to finish at 25,613.35, in the biggest fall in eight months.

The broad-based S&P 500 slumped 3.3 percent to end at 2,786.46, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index plummeted 4.0 percent to finish the session at 7,427.74.

Apple gave up 4.6 percent to $216.36 and Microsoft dropped 5.4 percent to $106.16. Amazon skidded 6.2 percent to $1,755.25. Industrial and internet companies also fell hard. Boeing lost 4.7 percent to $367.57 and Alphabet, Google's parent company, gave up 4.6 percent to $1,092.16.

"The S&P 500 is looking very weak and negative and that is putting fear into investors," said Michael Matousek, head trader at US Global Investors. "With the markets going down, people are increasing their allocation towards gold."

Oil prices fell more than two percent as US stocks plunged, even though energy traders worried about shrinking supply from Iran due to US sanctions and kept an eye on Hurricane Michael, which closed nearly 40 percent of US Gulf of Mexico output.

US crude settled down $1.79 at $73.17 per barrel and Brent fell $1.91 to settle at $83.09. US gold futures settled up $1.9, or 0.16 percent, at $1,193.4.

US interest rates

The 10-year yield is currently 3.20 percent, the highest in more than seven years and up sharply from 2.82 percent in late August.

The rise in US Treasury yields has been bolstered by good US economic data that has reinforced expectations of multiple rate hikes over the next 12 months by the Federal Reserve.

US President Donald Trump has been briefed on Wednesday's stock market sell-off, CNBC reported, citing a senior official.

"A senior White House official gives me this comment now: 'This is a bull market correction. It's probably healthy. This will pass and the US economy remains strong," CNBC reporter Eamon Javers posted on Twitter.

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