US stocks end with steep declines

NEW YORK (AFP) – Wall Street equities ended with solid losses on Tuesday as US central bankers opened their two-day policy meeting which is widely expected to end with a three-quarter-point interest rate hike.

Fed officials have vowed to raise rates to bring down soaring inflation, with some observers speculating about a possible one-percentage-point move.

Markets have been roiled in recent days by the central bankers’ decidedly hawkish statements, despite a brief bounce Monday.

However, analysts have already begun setting their sights on the prospect of future increases, awaiting information on what the Fed’s next steps will be and how high rates could go.

At the end of the trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1 per cent to 30,706.23.

The broad-based S&P 500 lost 1.1 per cent to finish at 3,855.93, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index sank 1 per cent to 11,425.05.

Among individual companies, Beyond Meat, already suffering from disappointing sales and questions about its growth prospects, was down 6 per cent after its COO Doug Ramsey was arrested for biting a man’s nose after an altercation following an American football game.

Ford fell 12.3 per cent in the wake of its announcement that supply chain issues would cost the company an extra US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) this quarter.