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REFILE-GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar, shares weighed down by trade war worries

From Reuters - March 22, 2018

NEW YORK - The threat of a global trade war pushed the U.S. dollar to its lowest in over a month on Thursday and dragged benchmark equity indexes in the U.S. and Europe into the red, a day after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates as expected.

It was the dollar's third decline in four sessions and helped sterling GBP= climb to a six-week high after a Bank of England policy meeting laid the foundations for another British rate increase in the coming months.

The Fed raised its key rate by 25 basis points to a range of 1.50 percent to 1.75 percent on Wednesday and flagged at least two more increases for the year, short of the three that some economists had been predicting.

China also nudged up its borrowing costs overnight, as Beijing braced for fresh tariffs to be announced on Thursday by U.S. President Donald Trump on Chinese imports worth as much as $60 billion.

Those jitters, plus weaker-than-expected German business confidence data, caused European sharesto fall 1.7 percent to a two-week low.

Selling pressure intensified in morning trading on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 340.32 points, or 1.38 percent, to 24,341.99, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 34.8 points, or 1.28 percent, to 2,677.13 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 101.62 points, or 1.38 percent, to 7,243.67.

Shares in U.S. tech giant Facebook fell 1.6 percent in morning trading, in the wake of news Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg apologized for a major breach of trust over how it had handled data belonging to 50 million users.

In the currency market, sterling GBP= hit a peak of $1.4216, its highest in more than a month.

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