US stocks end mixed amid Yellen’s comments

New York, Feb 11 (IANS) US stocks closed mixed on Wednesday, as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signalled that the Fed still keeps door open to further interest rate hikes, but flagging risks could delay any further moves.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 99.64 points, or 0.62 percent, to 15,914.74. The S&P 500 edged down 0.35 point, or 0.02 percent, to 1,851.86. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 14.83 points, or 0.35 percent, to 4,283.59.

“With gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace in coming years and that labor market indicators will continue to strengthen,” Yellen said in a testimony before the Committee on Financial Services of the US House of Representatives on Wednesday.

But she acknowledged that financial conditions have become less supportive of growth, “with declines in broad measures of equity prices, higher borrowing rates for riskier borrowers, and a further appreciation of the dollar.”

“These developments, if they prove persistent, could weigh on the outlook for economic activity and the labor market,” Yellen said.

Yellen’s testimony failed to offer any signal on whether the central bank will change the interest rate on its next policy meeting on March 15-16. She only repeated that the actual path of the interest rate will depend on incoming data.

There is no major economic report due out Wednesday.

Overseas, European equities rebounded Wednesday. German benchmark DAX index at Frankfurt Stock Exchange jumped 1.55 percent, while British benchmark FTSE 100 Index rose 0.71 percent.

In Asia, Tokyo shares retreated further Wednesday on stronger yen and concerns over global banking sector, with its benchmark Nikkei index dropping over 2 percent after a 5-percent decline in the previous day

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