US stocks fall as government releases stress-tests

May 8th, 2009 - 4:13 am ICT by IANS  

New York, May 8 (DPA) US stocks closed lower Thursday, just one hour before the Federal Reserve was due to release the much-awaited results of its “stress tests” on the country’s top banks.
The US central bank was to release the findings after the markets closed, but media leaks ahead of the announcement suggested at least seven of the country’s largest 19 banks will be forced to raise at least $65 billion in capital to survive the economic downturn.

The regulatory review is designed to gauge the health of the US banking system, and government officials ahead of the announcement said they hoped it would remove some of the market’s uncertainty about the state of US financial institutions.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 102.43 points, or 1.2 percent, to 8,409.85. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 12.14 points, or 1.3 percent, to 907.39. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell 42.86 points, or 2.4 percent, to 1,716.24.

The US currency fell against the euro to 74.71 euro cents from 75.15 euro cents Wednesday. The dollar gained against the Japanese currency to 99.07 yen from 98.44 yen.

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