Economy

Major Averages Set Record Highs Ahead Of Fed Announcement

The Dow rose 39.45 points or 0.2 percent to 22,370.80, the Nasdaq edged up 6.68 points or 0.1 percent to 6,461.32 and the S&P 500 inched up 2.78 points or 0.1 percent to 2,506.65.

On the economic front, USA privately-owned housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,180,000, beating market consensus, the Commerce Department reported on Tuesday.

So since hitting a low on August 17, the S&P 500 energy sector has risen almost 8% and is the best performing sector so far this month.

All three major US stock indexes hit record closing highs, with financial shares providing the biggest boost.

The benchmark palm oil contract for December delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange fell 1.1 percent to 2,805 ringgit ($669.93) a tonne at the end of the trading day, the first day of a new trading contract.

US data showing domestic home construction fell for a second straight month in August weighed on the dollar index earlier. Natural gas jumped 12 cents, or 4 percent, to $3.15 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Rising U.S. Treasury yields boosted financial stocks, as higher interest rates tend to lift bank profits, but rate-sensitive sectors such as utilities were the weakest.

The Labor Department said imports prices climbed by 0.6% in August after edging down by 0.1% in July.

Tesla was down 1.86 percent after Jefferies started coverage of the electric auto maker's stock with "underperform". With the gain, the index reached its best closing level in a month. Shares of smaller wireless carrier T-Mobile rose 5.9 per cent and Sprint jumped 6.8 per cent, following a report they were in active merger talks.

The S&P ended slightly higher on Monday as financial stocks rose, but the Nasdaq pared gains sharply as technology stocks lost ground late in the session.

Chemical stocks also saw some strength on the day, while weakness was visible among biotechnology and healthcare stocks.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2 per cent after wobbling between positive and negative territory in early trading.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day.

TOKYO: Asian shares slipped on Tuesday, hobbled by uncertainty as traders awaited a Federal Reserve meeting for clues on U.S. monetary policy.

Shares of Heineken dropped 3.8 percent in Amsterdam after Fomento Economico Mexicano, a Mexican bottler and retailer, said it sold a 5.24 percent stake in the world's No. 2 brewer for about 2.5 billion euros (US$3 billion). The Nasdaq rose one-tenth of a percent to 6,461.3-2, setting a record for the 49th time this year, and now up 20-percent since the turn of the year.



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