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US STOCKS MİXED AHEAD OF FED RATE HİKE DECİSİON

Market awaits announcement Wednesday as crude prices fall for second straight day

US stocks mixed ahead of Fed rate hike decision

16 March 2016 Wednesday 10:28

The American stock market closed mixed Tuesday ahead of an announcement on interest rates by the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones industrial rose 22 points to end at 17,251 but the Nasdaq composite fell 21 points to end the day at 4,728. The S&P 500 shaved 3 points to close at 2,015.

Oil prices extended their losses for a second day in a row. After falling 4 percent Monday, American benchmark West Texas Intermediate lost 3.6 percent to reach as low as $35.97 per barrel.

Global benchmark Brent crude recorded a 3.7 percent decline on Monday, and lost 3.4 percent Tuesday to a low of $38.33. A production freeze agreement among Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar will not be joined by Iran, who said it would continue to increase its output until it reaches pre-sanctions levels of 4 million barrels per day.

The stock market has sharpened its focus on the Fed's interest rate decision Wednesday at 1800GMT.

Interest change in rates is not expected but a statement could signal a June rate hike.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech later is expected to provide how the Federal Open Market Committee views U.S. macroeconomic data and the country's economic well-being, for the bank’s target of reaching 2 percent inflation.

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