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US shares tumble on oil, economy worries

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« on: March 01, 2011, 06:13:21 pm »




US shares tumble on oil, economy worries

    * From correspondents in New York
    * From: AFP
    * March 02, 2011 8:52AM

WALL Street dropped sharply today after Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke warned that high oil prices could spark inflation and stall the country's economic recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 168.32 points (1.38 per cent) at 12,058.02. The broader S&P 500 index dropped 20.89 points (1.57 per cent) to 1306.33, and the tech-focused Nasdaq fell 44.86 points (1.61 per cent) to 2737.41.

"Sustained rises in the prices of oil and other commodities would represent a threat both to economic growth and to overall price stability," the US central banker said in testimony to Congress today.

The fresh worries came as fighting in Libya sent oil prices and gold higher, with gold hitting a new record above $1433 an ounce.

Although Bernanke also said that the oil price spike was likely to be temporary, and despite some encouraging data on growth in manufacturing and auto sales, traders seemed to take their cues from his remarks on price rises.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/business/breaking-news/us-shares-tumble-on-oil-economy-worries/story-e6frfkur-1226014537187#ixzz1FOSP1IJc
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