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3/14/2016, 2:31 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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U.S. markets open lower: Oil prices slide, investors waiting for Fed

Stock markets in the United States opened lower, with possibility to erase last week's gain of around 1%. The investors have been looking at a confident trading session in Europe, where most markets saw healthy gains. On the other hand, attention of U.S. investors might have shifted from the effects of stimulus measures from the European Central Bank, and towards monetary policy decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve expected on Wednesday.

Oil prices started falling sharply in the middle of the European trading day after investors seem to have realised that Iran would not agree to a freeze in output until it doubles monthly exports from now 2 million to 4 million barrels per day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down 0.10% at 17,194 points. Chevron lost over 1%, and Pfizer followed with a slide of 0.77%

The S&P 500 index slid 0.22% to open at 2,017 points. Shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts rocketed up 8.01% on the news it has a $76 per share offer from China. Energy sector was down, with Southwestern and Chesapeake losing over 7% each.

The tech-laden Nasdaq 100 index stumbled 0.29% 4,734 points. Shares of Tesla Motors jumped 1.89% after receiving an upgrade from "neutral" to "outperform" from RW Baird. Shares of Marriot International Hotels rose over 2% after Marriot's plan to merge with the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide were challenged by a bid of a consortium led by China’s Anbang Insurance Group to buy Starwood for $76 per share.

The U.S. light sweet crude WTI for delivery in April fell 2.75% to $37.47 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent for delivery in May traded 2.72% cheaper at $39.32 a barrel, at the ICE Europe at 2:30 p.m. CET (9:30 a.m. EST). The OPEC daily basket price of 13 crudes stood at $35.62 a barrel on Friday, compared with $35.23 the previous day.

The U.S. dollar strengthened 0.38% against to the euro, and 0.43% versus the Swiss franc. The greenback rose 0.20% compared to the U.K. sterling, while sliding 0.11% to the Japanese yen, all at 2:31 p.m. CET (9:31 a.m. EST).

Breaking the News / ZR