US stocks end lower as regional banks dive again

Malaysian ringgit falls to lowest level in 26 years
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Wall Street stocks dropped Thursday following another brutal sell-off in regional banking shares, in the wake of four bank failures since early March.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9 percent to 33,127.74.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.7 percent to 4,061.22, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.5 percent at 11,966.40.

Steep declines by more banks are adding to recession worries as markets continue to digest fresh interest rate hikes from central banks, analysts said.

“Financial stability concerns are not going away anytime soon,” said Oanda’s Edward Moya.

That will continue to fuel calls that the economy is headed towards a more hard-hitting recession than some are expecting, he added.

Thursday’s losses came after the European Central Bank followed the Federal Reserve in hiking interest rates a quarter-point.

Financial shares suffered across-the-board losses, but the deepest declines were in midsized regional banks whose reassurances about their financial positions fell flat.

Shares of PacWest Bancorp slumped 50.6 percent, First Horizon plunged 33.6 percent and Western Alliance Bancorporation dropped 38.5 percent.

Also hard-hit was entertainment conglomerate Paramount Global, which sank 28.4 percent following disappointing results as it cut its dividend.

But shares of Kenvue surged 22.3 percent in the health and beauty consumer business’ market debut, after the Johnson & Johnson spinoff raised $3.8 billion for J&J.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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