The US stock market finished in the negative territory on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling more than 170 points, as the Federal Reserve kept its interest rate unchanged in its latest policy statement.
The central bank stressed that the necessity for a rate hike would arise in the upcoming months; that is why, they kept their interest rates stable at 1.5%-1.75%. Additionally, the Fed said that they almost reached their inflation target of 2%.
The Blue Chip Index closed at 23 924.98 after losing 174 points or 0.7% as 24 of its 30 companies ended in the red zone. The S&P 500 lost almost 20 points, or 0.7% to settle at 2 635.67, with its energy sector serving as the lone bright spot for a 0.4% gain.
Meanwhile, the tech heavy NASDAQ Composite index fell 29 points, or 0.4%, and finally settled at 7 100.90 as the surge in Apple shares (of 4.4%) was not enough to lift the index to the bullish territory.
The prices of oil went convincingly higher on Wednesday as investors speculated that crude production in Venezuela might be derailed after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that it would expel the country. The organization said the threat of expulsion was rooted in Venezuela’s failure to comply with key measures to deal with the economic crisis in the country. Its oil industry might suffer the consequences if it were booted out as the IMF remains its only source of cash.
International benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.3%, adding 23 cents, to settle at $73.36 per barrel while the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate futures rallied 1%, or 68 cents, to finish at $67.93 per barrel.