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Energy stocks led Wall Street lower on Wednesday, with the price of oil experiencing its worst declines since early March.

The broad S&P 500 slipped 0.2 per cent to 2,338.2, while the Nasdaq Composite ticked 0.1 per cent higher to 5,857.9.

The S&P 500 energy sector faced the heaviest selling, dropping 1.5 per cent. Utilities were down 0.8 per cent, tracking a decline in Treasury bonds.

IBM shares dropped 5 per cent in their heaviest fall since the market tumult that followed the Brexit vote last June. Big Blue stripped almost 60 points from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which ended the day 0.6 per cent lower at 20,4004.5.

US crude oil prices skidded 3.7 per cent to $50.48 a barrel, pressured by an unexpected rise in gasoline inventories. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 3.5 per cent to $52.96.

In fixed income, the 10-year Treasury yield rose 0.039 percentage points to 2.207 per cent amid a broader decline in haven bond prices.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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