March 7, 2017 / 1:00 AM / 5 months ago

Stocks slip, U.S. dollar firm on Fed outlook

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 7, 2017.Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of global stock markets slipped on Tuesday as the Dow and S&P 500 notched their first back-to-back losses in more than a month, while expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates supported the U.S. dollar.

Shares of large U.S. pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies sold off after a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump on the need to lower drug prices. Shares of Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and Amgen Inc (AMGN.O) each dropped more than 1 percent.

The dollar .DXY rose 0.16 percent against a basket of six major trading currencies, 0.29 percent against the British pound GBP= and 0.14 percent against the Swiss franc CHF= ahead of the Fed's meeting next week. Jitters over economic and political developments in Europe also lifted the greenback.

U.S. Treasury yields rose, supporting the dollar, as investors made room for this week's supply of government debt and also in anticipation of a Fed rate hike this month.

The monthly U.S. jobs report, due on Friday, is expected to show an increase of 190,000 jobs, probably enough to push the Fed to raise its base rate again for the second time in four months.

The market is taking in stride expectations the Fed will raise rates, unlike past years, said Rahul Shah, chief executive of Ideal Asset Management in New York.

"As long as we keep getting macroeconomic data that's supportive of a rate hike we're going to continue to see stocks rally," Shah said. "If financials continue to rally with higher rates and industrials rally with better economic data, that could be enough to power the market higher," he said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI closed down 29.58 points, or 0.14 percent, to 20,924.76. The S&P 500 .SPX lost 6.92 points, or 0.29 percent, to 2,368.39 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 15.25 points, or 0.26 percent, to 5,833.93.

Stocks in Europe closed slightly lower as weak corporate earnings and the biggest fall in German industrial orders since the depths of the global financial crisis weighed on sentiment.

Europe's FTSEurofirst index .FTEU3 of the 300 leading regional shares fell 0.28 percent, pulled down by healthcare and financial stocks.

MSCI's all-country world stock index .MIWD00000PUS dipped 0.22 percent.

Brent crude LCOc1 settled down 9 cents at $55.92 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 fell 6 cents to settle at $53.14.

Oil prices slid further in post-settlement trade after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed U.S. crude stocks last week rose 11.6 million barrels, or more than five times analysts' forecast. [API/S]

U.S. Treasury yields rose, with the 30-year yield at its highest in more than a month as investors prepared for this week's supply of coupon-bearing government debt led by $24 billion of three-year notes. They also rose after data showed the U.S. trade deficit grew in January to its highest monthly level in nearly five years.

Investors also reduced their bond holdings in anticipation of a rate increase at the Fed's policy meeting next week.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR fell 7/32 in price to yield just under 2.52 percent, while the 30-year bond US30YT=RR fell 14/32 in price to yield 3.12 percent after touching its highest since Feb. 3, Reuters data showed.

U.S. gold futures GCv1 for April delivery settled down 0.8 percent at $1,216.10 an ounce.

Reporting by Herbert Lash and Dion Rabouin; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and James Dalgleish

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