US stocks trade lower amid Fed minutes, data

US stocks trade lower amid Fed minutes, data

New York: US stocks traded lower on Thursday as investors digested the minutes of Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy meeting as well as a batch of key economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 87.69 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 25,645.91. The S&P 500 was down 3.77 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 2,858.05, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Nasdaq Composite Index erased 2.65 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 7,886.45.

Fed officials saw an escalation in international trade disputes as a potentially “consequential downside risk” for the US economy, according to the minutes released on Wednesday.

“Participants observed that if a large-scale and prolonged dispute over trade policies developed, there would likely be adverse effects on business sentiment, investment spending, and employment,” said the minutes of the Fed’s July 31-August 1 meeting.

While many Fed officials signalled that the central bank was ready to raise interest rates as soon as next month, some worried that current trade disputes could force the central bank to rethink its interest rate hike plans.

Meanwhile, US weekly jobless claims slipped by 2,000 to 210,000 last week despite the ongoing trade worries, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The four-week moving average was 213,750, a decrease of 1,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average.