The S&P 500 Index fell at the close after trading higher earlier in the day as the Federal Reserve’s first decision under Chairman Jerome Powell came in less hawkish than the market had expected.
Federal Reserve officials raised the benchmark lending rate by 0.25% and forecast a steeper path of hikes in 2019 and 2020, citing an improving economic outlook. However, policy makers continued to project a total of three increases this year.
“The job market remains strong, the economy continues to expand, and inflation appears to be moving toward the FOMC’s 2% longer running goal,” Powell said in a press conference.
European stocks fell, declining 0.3%, as the euro edged higher and food and beverage firms retreated the most in more than a week.
In the UK, the BOE will hold its latest policy meeting today. The market does not expect any policy action at the Bank of England’s policy meeting today nor does it anticipate any further concrete guidance about when the next rate increase could come.
In Asia overnight, Chinese shares fell following the latest Fed hike, while Japanese equities advanced for the first time in four days as investors appeared little concerned about the Federal Reserve’s move to raise interest rates.