European stocks closed lower Wednesday, in line with losses in other global equity markets as investors start to price in the probability that the Federal Reserve will ramp up its pace in raising borrowing costs this year.
U.S. stocks closed lower in a volatile session Wednesday, reversing their earlier gains as Wall Street digested data that were seen as underlining the economy's robust health, although that same strength could warrant the Federal Reserve to turn more hawkish and increase corporate borrowing costs.
Asia-Pacific stocks began March by extending losses logged at the end of February - though markets in China were an exception ahead of annual legislative meetings. Thursday's early weakness in the region followed a second-straight late-session slide in the U.S., as investors weigh the likelihood of a faster pace of U.S. interest-rate rises and its likely effect on markets. The weakness also follows the worst monthly performance for most indexes in Asia-Pacific in two years.
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