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Stock close down...Oil futures drop... IMF says China must wait to join top currencies

By The Associated Press | Posted - Aug. 20, 2015 at 8:11 a.m.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed down as investors reacted to mixed signals from the Federal Reserve that an interest rate hike in September is still being debated. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 163 points, or 0.9 percent, to end at 17,349. The S&P 500 index lost 17 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,080 and the Nasdaq composite fell 40 points, or 0.8 percent, to 5,019.

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil futures continue to fall. Benchmark U.S. crude dropped $1.82 to $40.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell $1.96 to $46.88 per barrel in London. Oil's losses deepened after data from the U.S. government showed oil inventories rose much more than expected last week.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials seem split on whether inflation has climbed enough to justify a rate increase. At least that's according to minutes of the Fed's July 28-29 meeting. Last month, they appeared to be edging closer to a decision to raise interest rates as early as September. But officials remain concerned about low inflation, sluggish wages and a sharp slowdown in China.

WASHINGTON (AP) — China must wait until at least next year to join an exclusive club of top currencies. The International Monetary Fund has voted to leave unchanged until Sept. 30, 2016 a basket of currencies used in IMF operations. China wanted the IMF to include its currency, the yuan, in the basket along with the U.S. dollar, euro, British pound and Japanese yen starting Jan. 1.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations says it has expressed concern to AT&T about a report that the telecom giant allowed the United States to wiretap all Internet communications at U.N. headquarters. The U.N. says it expects all 193 member states "to respect the inviolability of our communications." New U.N. communications contracts will be up for bid in the coming months.

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The Associated Press


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