ASX slips early after Fed’s forecast

Stocks on the Australian market have slipped by about 1.5 per cent in early trade after the US Federal Reserve projected poor GDP and unemployment results to come this year.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was lower by 90.9 points, or 1.48 per cent, at 6057.5 points after the first 15 minutes of trade on Thursday.

The All Ordinaries index was 87.7 points, or 1.4 per cent lower, at 6057.5.

Investors will be hoping the market can overcome an early downturn and produce an eighth consecutive day of gains.

The financial sector was down 2.63 per cent, and the property sector was lower by 2.66 per cent.

Health was the only sector trading higher, by 0.15 per cent.

In the US overnight, policymakers at a two-day meeting of the Fed projected a 6.5 per cent decline in gross domestic product this year and a 9.3 per cent unemployment rate at year’s end.

The Fed’s pledge to keep monetary policy loose until the US economy is back on track repeats a promise made early in the central bank’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian dollar was buying 69.66 US cents at 1015 AEST, down from 69.95 US cents at the close of trade on Wednesday.

The Aussie dollar hit an almost one-year high of 70.64 US cents earlier this morning.

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