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US equity indices were starting to shake off some of their complacency in midday trading on Tuesday, giving up earlier gains as oil prices took a beating and the US dollar gathered strength.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.16 per cent to 20,980, and the S&P 500 — which hit a new record earlier in the day — was 0.12 per cent lower to 2,396. Both indices were boosted by the consumer discretionary sector — including a 6.4 per cent rise in hotel chain Marriott — to offset a loss of more than 1 per cent for the energy sector.
After opening at a record high, the Nasdaq was up 0.24 per cent to 6,116.5, giving up some of its earlier gains but still poised to set another record closing high for the second day running.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of peer currencies, was up 0.55 per cent to 99.60.
West Texas Intermediate, the US oil benchmark, was down almost 1.4 per cent on the day at $45.79 a barrel. Brent, the global standard, was off 1.36 per cent at $48.67 a barrel amid growing concerns about Opec producers’ ability to shore up prices in light of rising output from US shale. Those concerns were stirred yet again by data released Tuesday from the US Energy Information Administration showing that US crude oil production would hit 9.3m barrels a day in 2017, up from 8.9m b/d last year, and rise yet again in 2018 to almost 10m b/d.
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