U.S. stocks close slightly lower after Fed raises rates and maintains outlook

U.S. stocks ended with slight losses on Wednesday, as investors digested an interest-rate hike and the latest commentary from the Federal Reserve.

Based on preliminary figures, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 45 points, or 0.2%, to 24,682. The S&P 500 lost 5 points to 2,712, a decline of 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 19 points, or 0.3%, to 7,345.

Trading was volatile after the Fed’s statement and a subsequent press conference by Chairman Jerome Powell, with major indexes fluctuating between positive and break-even territory.

The U.S. central bank raised interest rates for the sixth time since the end of 2015, as had been widely expected, and it stuck to its prior forecast of three rate hikes in 2018. Some investors had expected a more aggressive pace, with four hikes this year. However, the outlook for 2019 did move up; the Fed expects three rate hikes in 2019, rather than two.

A standout of the day was the Russell 2000 which rose 0.8%, easily outperforming the other major indexes. The index of small-capitalization shares was seen as supported by its heavier weighting toward financial stocks, which benefit from environments with higher rates. The Financial Select Sector SPDR rose 0.6%.

Source: Marketwatch

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Sumber : bpfnews.com

Myanmar President, Close Aung San Suu Kyi Friend, Retires

Myanmar’s president, a close friend of leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has announced that he is retiring.

A statement posted Wednesday on the Myanmar President Office’s Facebook page said that 71-year-old President Htin Kyaw was retiring.

The statement said his post would be filled within seven working days, in line with the constitution.

Htin Kyaw became president in March 2016. He was Myanmar’s first civilian president and the head of its first government to be elected in free and fair polls.

After Htin Kyaw became president, Aung San Suu Kyi became Myanmar’s de facto leader when she was named state councilor, a title created for the country’s once-leading voice for democracy since she is constitutionally banned from the presidency.

Source : VOA

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