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US stocks open lower as oil prices bounce higher; Bernanke says deep downturn unlikely

US stocks open lower as oil prices bounce higher; Bernanke says deep downturn unlikely

Wall Street declined Tuesday as oil prices ratcheted higher and as speculation grew that the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates to fight inflation.
The International Energy Agency said oil-producing nations outside OPEC are having a tough time keeping up with demand. The agency lowered its forecast for global oil demand because of the recent surge in prices, but said China might need more for reconstruction in the aftermath of May's earthquake.
This sent a barrel of light, sweet crude up $2.04 to $136.39 in premarket electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude prices last week climbed to a record high of $139.12.
Meanwhile, comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that a substantial economic downturn seems unlikely have raised expectations that the U.S. central bank might raise interest rates to fight inflation.
The rise in oil weighed on stocks. In the first hour of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 42.34, or 0.34 percent, to 12,237.98.
Broader stock indicators also declined. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 7.49, or 0.55 percent, to 1,354.27, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 19.02, or 0.77 percent, to 2,440.44.


Updated : 2020-12-01 17:38 GMT+08:00