US stocks decline

New York, Sep 24 (IANS) US stocks ended mildly lower after wavering between gains and losses, as investors assessed European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi’s remarks about monetary stimulus policy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 50.58 points, or 0.31 percent, to 16,279.89 on Wednesday, Xinhua reported.

The S&P 500 lost 3.98 points, or 0.20 percent, to 1,938.76. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged down 3.98 points, or 0.08 percent, to 4,752.74.

“Should some of the downwards risks weaken the inflation outlook over the medium term more fundamentally than we project at present, we would not hesitate to act,” said Draghi on Wednesday.

“The asset purchase program has sufficient in-built flexibility. We will adjust its size, composition and duration as appropriate, if more monetary policy impulse should become necessary,” he added.

European shares rebounded from the previous day’s plunge Wednesday following the comments, with British benchmark FTSE 100 Index rising 1.62 percent.

In Asia, Chinese shares tumbled on Wednesday after data showed prolonged weakness in the economy, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index falling 2.19 percent.

On the US economic front, September data highlighted another month of relatively subdued growth momentum across the US manufacturing sector, reported financial data firm Markit on Wednesday.

The headline seasonally adjusted Markit Flash US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index registered 53.0 in September, unchanged from August’s 22-month low, signalling one of the slowest rates of overall manufacturing sector expansion in the past two years.

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