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22 Mar 05: US Markets Close Sharply Lower


U.S. stocks closed sharply lower after the U.S. Central Bank issued a sharp warning on inflation Tuesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 95 points at points to 10,471. The S & P 500 dropped 12 points to 1172, and the NASDAQ lost 18 points to hit below 2,000 at 1,989.

After meeting Tuesday, the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by a quarter point. But the central bank also warned that "pressures on inflation have picked up in recent months" leading traders to anticipate more aggressive moves in the future.

In Europe, London's Financial Times index closed up nearly four points at 4,937. The CAC-40 in Paris was 14 points higher at 4,047, and the DAX index in Frankfurt was up 24 points at 4,321.

New York gold prices rose 20 cents to $431.30 an ounce.

After early mixed trading in New York, the dollar rose to its highest levels in one month against the yen and euro.

Information for this report is provided by AP and Reuters.

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