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Energy and financials led US stocks lower on Wednesday as so-called safe haven assets like gold and US Treasuries advanced.

The S&P 500 slid 0.3 per cent to 2,285.73 led by a 1.5 per cent drop in the energy sector and a 1 per cent drop in shares of financials. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.3 per cent to 20,030.20, while the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.4 per cent to 5,651.34.

Gold prices climbed as much as 0.9 per cent to $1,244.80 to a near three-month high, before trimming back gains to trade about 0.7 per cent higher.

“There is a dawning realisation that the Fed. may have its hands tied with respect to interest rate rises, with so much economic policy uncertainty,” Rob Sica director of global metals at TD Securities, said. “Trump’s rapid-fire announcements having bamboozled many analysts, and possibly wrong-footed the markets.”

Elsewhere, yields on the US 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price, slid 4.9 basis points to 2.344 per cent. Meanwhile, yields on the more policy sensitive 2-year note declined by 2 basis points to 1.145 per cent. And in currencies, the Japanese yen, considered a safe haven, climbed 0.5 per cent against the buck.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

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