US stocks retreat amid economic data

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New York, Aug 17 (IANS) US stocks declined as investors digested a batch of economic reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Tuesday fell 84.03 points, or 0.45 per cent, to 18,552.02, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 lost 12.00 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 2,178.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 34.90 points, or 0.66 per cent, to 5,227.11.

The US Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all urban consumers was unchanged in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, in line with market estimates, the Labor Department reported on Tuesday.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 per cent in July, but posted its smallest increase since March.

Meanwhile, US privately-owned housing starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.211 million units, 2.1 per cent above the revised June estimate, according to the Commerce Department on Tuesday.

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US industrial production increased 0.7 per cent in July, beating market expectations of a 0.3-per cent gain, after moving up 0.4 per cent in June, said the Federal Reserve on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, investors kept a close eye on the minutes from the Fed’s July policy meeting scheduled for release Wednesday, for more indications on the timing of a next interest rate hike.

Oil prices were also in focus, which rallied for a fourth straight session on Tuesday amid speculation that the talks of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries next month could result in a crude output freeze.



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