Wall Street dives, Dow Jones sheds 575 points




NEW YORK, New York — As the U.S. economy picks up steam, according to recent data, fears are increasing that interest rates will be pushed higher and will stay higher for longer.

"The latest economic data have come in stronger than expected, which suggests that the ultimate level of interest rates is likely to be higher than previously anticipated," Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Tuesday. "If the totality of the data were to indicate that faster tightening is warranted, we would be prepared to increase the pace of rate hikes."

The comment sparked widespread falls across the board on equity markets and boosted the U.S. dollar on foreign exchange markets.

The Dow Jones industrials led the charge, diving 574.98 points or 1.72 percent to 32,856.46.

The Standard and Poor’s 500 dropped 62.05 points or 1.53 percent to 3,986.37.

The Nasdaq Composite slid 145.41 points or 1.25 percent to 11,530.33.

Unsurprisingly, the U.S. dollar hammered other currencies, sending them into a tailspin. The euro crumbled to 1.0547 around the U.S. close Tuesday. The Japanese yen dropped to 137.14.

The Canadian dollar was sharply lower at 1.3753, as was the Australian dollar at 0.6588, for a loss of 2.11 percent, and the New Zealand dollar at 0.6110.

The British pound sank 1.61 percent to 1.1824, while the Swiss franc eased to 0.9422.

It was a mixed day for global stock markets on Tuesday, with some indices posting losses while others managed to gain ground.

The ESTX 50 PR.EUR, and BEL 20 indices all fell by 0.81 percent, 0.76 percent, and 0.76 percent, respectively.

In London, the FTSE 100 closed at 7,919.48, down by 0.13 percent, or 10.31 points. Meanwhile, the Dax in Frankfurt, Germany fell by 0.60 percent, or 94.05 points, to close at 15,559.53.

Over in Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo managed to buck the trend, closing at 28,309.16, up by 0.25 percent, or 71.38 points. However, the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong fell by 0.33 percent, or 68.71 points, to close at 20,534.48. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index closed at 3,285.10, down by 1.11 percent, or 36.93 points, while the Shenzhen Index ended the day at 11,608.58, down by a hefty 1.98 percent, or 234.30 points.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed at 7,364.70, up by 0.49 percent, or 36.10 points.

Meanwhile, the Euronext 100, MOEX Russia, the Australian All Ordinaries, the S&P BSE SENSEX, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI, and the KOSPI Composite indices all saw gains of 0.77 percent, 0.19 percent, 0.49 percent, 0.69 percent, 0.41 percent, and 0.03 percent respectively.

The Singapore Straits Times Index and New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 index also closed with marginal gains of 0.18 percent and 0.06 percent, respectively. The STI Index rose by 5.96 points to close at 3,245.27, while the S&P/NZX 50 increased by 7.08 points to close at 11,919.56.

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