NEW YORK, New York - In the face of looming interest rate hikes, U.S. stock markets continued to shed weight on Wednesday.
"Any beginning of tightening often results in significant volatility and I think there is always that risk that there is a policy error and it ends the economic cycle," Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco told Reuters news agency Wednesday. "So we just have a lot of apprehension," Hooper said.
At the close on Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had shed 339.82 points, or 0.96 percent, to 35,028.65.
The Standard and Poor's 500 dropped 44.35 points, or 0.97 percent, to 4,532.76.
The Nasdaq Composite declined 166.64 points, or 1.15 percent, to 14,340.26.
The U.S. dollar surprisingly edged down from its closing levels in Asia. The euro crept up to 1.1342. The British pound firmed to 1.3613. The Japanese yen strengthened to 114.36. The Swiss franc was unchanged at 0.9157.
The Canadian dollar eased slightly to 1.2513. The Australian dollar inched up to 0.7212. The New Zealand dollar was little changed at 0.6784.
Overseas, the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.35 percent. The German Dax advanced 0.24 percent. The Paris-based CAC 40 was up 0.55 percent.
The Nikkei 225 in Toyko shed 790.02 points or 2.80 percent to 27,467.23.
The Australian All Ordinaries dropped 79.20 points or 1.02 percent to 7,656.60.
China's Shanghai Composite dipped 11.73 points or 0.33 percent to 3,558.18.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rose 15.07 points or 0.06 percent to 24,127.85.