US Equities Slide as Health-Care, Utility Stocks Decline

US Equities Slide as Health-Care, Utility Stocks Decline

US Equities Slide as Health-Care, Utility Stocks Decline

After seeing modest strength for much of the trading session on Wednesday, treasuries spiked higher in reaction to the Federal Reserve's widely expected decision to raise interest rates. The Nasdaq composite slipped 3 points, or 0.1%, to 5,897.

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.

That gradual pace is one reason investors remain enthusiastic about stocks in the face of rising rates, which historically have spooked stock holders because they can slow economic growth and corporate profits.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari was the lone member to vote against the rate hike, preferring to leave rates unchanged. After the United Kingdom vote last summer to leave the European Union, investors were anxious about whether a wave of nationalism across the continent could eventually break the European union apart.

Across emerging markets, where investors had been concerned about faster USA hikes and more political upheaval in Europe, MSCI's sector equity index jumped almost 2 per cent - the biggest daily gain since last July.

Across the Atlantic, European stocks rose on Thursday after far-right candidate Geert Wilders was defeated in a closely watched Dutch election, pouring cold water on fears that a populist wave was sweeping the continent.

Investors lodged large bets on the dollar after Donald Trump's USA presidential election win past year, expecting his mix of tax reform, capital repatriation and new public spending to raise inflation in the United States and in turn drive Fed rates higher.

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"The market is not sure about the timing of a rate hike in the future". The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.52% from 2.50% late Wednesday.

EARNINGS POP: Tech giant Oracle jumped 7.1% to $46.12, notching the biggest gain in the S&P 500, after reporting stronger revenue and earnings for its latest quarter than analysts expected.

Gold's value tends to rise in times of market volatility and when the dollar weakens. The euro was last down 0.2 percent at $1.0740.

But a softening of the joint draft statement's language on trade, removing a rejection of protectionism, speaks to a promised rise in USA tariff barriers which has so far largely been seen as dollar-positive.

Gold, copper and oil all rallied on the weaker dollar. Brent crude, which is used to price global oils, rose 26 cents to $52.00 a barrel. If it closes lower Thursday, that would be the eighth decline in the last nine days.

The dollar, meanwhile, is down 0.1 percent against the Japanese yen, at 114.63 yen. The euro rose to $1.0733 from $1.0713, and the British pound rose to $1.2352 from $1.2301.

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