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US Stocks Tumble, Wrapping Up Worst Quarter Since Start Of Pandemic

Major US stock indexes ended sharply lower Thursday, wrapping up their worst quarter since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, pressured by the war in Ukraine, high inflation and anticipated rate hikes by central banks.

While natural gas prices continued to rise after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that gas supplies will be halted to buyers from “unfriendly states” if they do not switch to payments in rubles as of April 1, oil prices eased following US President Joe Biden’s announcement that the country will release one million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over the next six months to cool gasoline prices amid a ban on Russian crude over its war on Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the US Labor Department said Thursday that the number of Americans filing first-time unemployment claims rose by 14,000 to 202,000 for the week ending March 26.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 1.56%, or 550.46 points, at 34,678.

The S&P 500 fell 72.04 points, or 1.57%, to close at 4,530.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq was down 221.76 points, or 1.54%, to 14,220.

Stock markets in Asia and Europe also closed Thursday on a low note.