Investors were also focused on the level of optimism Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell expressed about economic growth: The stronger his optimism, the more likely the US central bank will become more aggressive in raising the benchmark lending rate to restrain inflation.
The S&P 500 Index sank to session lows and fell below its 100-day moving average, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 500 points after the US president added to earlier confusion on the fate of proposed tariffs by announcing the levies in a meeting with industry executives.
Overall the Dow lost 343.7 points, or 1.4 per cent, the S&P 500 29.03 points, or 1.1 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite 77.10 points, or 1.1 per cent. While industrial companies in the benchmark equity index tumbled, U.S. Steel Corp. advanced 7 percent and steel-products company Nucor Corp. gained 3.1 percent.
Treasury yields, however, retreated on Wednesday.
The Canadian dollar and Mexican peso hit session lows after Trump vowed to rebuild American steel and aluminum industries at a meeting of USA industry officials at the White House. Precious metals, often pegged to dollars, tend to fall when the buck strengthens because a falling dollar can make buying those assets cheaper for investors using weaker monetary units.
The euro added 0.2 percent to $1.2214.
World stocks were set to snap a record 15-month long winning streak on Wednesday, tumbling another quarter per cent after new Fed boss Jerome Powell's comments suggested the possibility of four USA interest rate rises this year rather than three. The euro rose to $1.2275 from $1.2263. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, rose 17 cents to $64.00 a barrel.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, last traded at 90.395, after hitting a high of 90.498 on Tuesday, its strongest level in nearly three weeks. Strength in the U.
Gold futures were flat Wednesday morning as traders continued to digest yesterday's testimony from new Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
"Some of the headwinds the USA economy faced in previous years have turned into tailwinds", he added, noting recent fiscal policy shifts and a global economic recovery. It snapped a string of three gains in a row and posted its biggest one-day point and percentage loss since February 9. Weaker than expected economic data from China and Japan also dampened sentiment. An early look at U. The domestic currency traded in a range of 65.1350 and 65.07 so far during the day and was last seen trading at 65.1225. ALso, Consumer confidence surged in February, the first month Americans started to benefit from the Trump tax cuts, to the highest level since November 2000. Looking forward, he commented "the next couple of years look quite strong".
In wider markets, spot Brent crude oil prices are weaker at $63.31 per barrel, while the yield on U.S. 10-year treasuries is stronger at 2.9%, as is the German 10-year bund yield at 0.68%. The top-weighted technology sector also outperformed with a loss of 0.9%, but the nine remaining groups finished with losses between 1.0% and 2.2%.