WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Wall Street was mired in moderate losses on Wednesday after Federal Reserve meeting minutes suggested it was possible the central bank could begin tapering purchases this year, while oil struggled to hold onto earlier gains and the dollar rose.
Shortly after the release of the Fed minutes, Wall Street’s three major indices rose but quickly erased those gains, returning to lower levels seen in earlier trading in the day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.18%, the S&P 500 lost 0.11% and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.18%.
The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 45 nations, was up 0.05%.
Minutes of the Fed’s July 27-28 policy meeting showed officials were split over how much longer to stick with monetary stimulus, with some believing the Fed could boost the jobs market further while others believing the stimulus had run its course.
The Fed minutes showed officials noted the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant could temporarily delay the full reopening of the economy, and restrain the jobs market.
After posting earlier gains amid a drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles, oil posted a fifth straight day of losses due to concerns about the strength of fuel demand amid spreading coronavirus cases.[O/R]
Brent crude settled 1.2% lower at $68.23 a barrel, while U.S. crude fell 1.1% at $65.46 per barrel.
At the same time, the dollar erased earlier gains that had put it at its highest levels since April. Following the release of the Fed minutes, the dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, was down 0.03% at 93.1. [USD/]
Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR were down slightly to 1.267%.
The ongoing spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant and disappointing economic data is driving up concerns the global economic comeback might be diminished, while political turmoil in Afghanistan and a new China crackdown on the technology sector added fuel to the fire.
Data on Wednesday showed that U.S. homebuilding fell more than expected in July, the latest in several economic indicators that have missed expectations.
“Investors found plenty of catalysts to take profits yesterday,” said National Securities Chief Market Strategist Art Hogan in a note. “While none of these headwinds are necessarily new, with markets at all-time highs, the collective force was enough to cause a drawdown.”
Safe-haven gold saw a boost following the Fed minutes, with spot gold prices rising 0.14% to $1,788.46 an ounce. U.S. gold futures had earlier settled down 0.2% at $1,784.4 per ounce. [GOL/]
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