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2022-08-31 HKT 04:53
US stocks closed lower for a third straight session as a rise in job openings fuelled fears that the Federal Reserve will continue on a path of aggressive interest rate hikes to stem inflation.
The benchmark S&P 500 index has now tumbled more than 5 percent since Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Friday reaffirmed the central bank's determination to raise rates even in the face of a slowing economy.
All three major indexes fell by around one percent. The Dow Jones finished at 31,790, the S&P 500 ended at 3,986, and the Nasdaq fell to 11,883.
Energy was the biggest percentage decliner, as oil prices sank more than five percent on concerns that the slowing of global economies could sap demand. Among tech stocks, Microsoft was down 0.85 percent and Apple was off 1.5 percent.
A labour report showed that US job openings rose to more than 11 million in July. Meanwhile, a separate report showed consumer confidence rebounded strongly in August. All eyes are now on August non-farm payroll data due on Friday.
"They have to weaken the labour market and how are they going to do that? They are going to jam rates and make things so expensive that people are going to pull back, demand is going to fall off, and people are going to get laid off," said Ken Polcari, managing partner at Kace Capital Advisors in Boca Raton, Florida.
"It locks them in even further." (Reuters)