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Fed’s Powell comments hammer US stocks ahead of key jobs figure

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Nov 04, 2022 - 02:06 AM

ANKARA (AA) – US stocks closed lower Thursday, extending losses to a fourth consecutive day on comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell as investors await key jobs figures.

The Dow was down 146 points, or 0.46%, to 32,001 at the closing bell. The blue-chip index plummeted 505 points, or 1.55%, in the previous session after the Fed chair said there are “some ways to go” with rate hikes and the “ultimate level” of increases will be higher than previously expected.

The S&P 500 lost 39 points, or 1.06%, to 3,719 and the Nasdaq fell 181 points, or 1.73%, to 10,342. The indexes fell 2.5% and 3.36%, respectively, on Wednesday after Powell said it is too early to consider putting the brakes on rate increases. “It is very premature, in my view, to think about or be talking about pausing our rate hikes. We have a ways to go,” he said.

US nonfarm payrolls and unemployment numbers will be announced before markets open Friday, which the Fed closely monitors to see how much the labor market has tightened due to the central bank’s aggressive rate hikes.

The VIX volatility index, also known as the fear index, was down 2.2% to 25.30. The 10-year US Treasury yield rose 2.2% to 4.149%.

The dollar index jumped 1.5% to 112.98, hovering around its highest in 20 years, while the euro fell 0.7% to $0.9750 against the greenback.

Precious metals were mixed with gold shedding 0.3% to $1,630 but silver increased 1.3% to $19.48.

Oil prices were down around 2%. Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading at $94.50 per barrel, while the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate was around $88.01.

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