Dow Jones ends 0.13% higher after Fed pledges to keep rates low, S&P ends lower as tech shares struggle

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US stocks closed mixed as tech shares struggled, weighing on the market.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 36.78 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 28,032.38. The S&P 500 fell 15.71 points, or 0.46 per cent, to 3,385.49. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 139.85 points, or 1.25 per cent, to 11,050.47, Xinhua news agency reported.

Six of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors fell, with technology and communication services closing down 1.56 per cent and 1.2 per cent, respectively, leading the laggards. Energy rallied 4.04 per cent, the best-performing group.

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US-listed Chinese companies traded mostly lower, with six of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P US Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.

The moves came after the US Federal Reserve held its benchmark interest rate steady at the record-low level of near zero and promised to maintain this target range until labour market conditions have improved to reach maximum employment and inflation has picked up to its desirable level.

"Economic activity and employment have picked up in recent months but remain well below their levels at the beginning of the year," the Fed said in a statement after concluding a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.

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"Weaker demand and significantly lower oil prices are holding down consumer price inflation," the Fed said, adding "the ongoing public health crisis will continue to weigh on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term."

The Fed slashed interest rates to near zero earlier this year in an effort to support the economy amid the pandemic shock.

On the data front, US retail sales registered US $537.5 billion in August, an increase of 0.6 per cent from the previous month, the Department of Commerce reported on Wednesday. The reading fell short of market consensus.

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Fed signals near-zero rates will last through 2023 to lift economy from coronavirus recession
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