Facebook plunge leads tech, Wall Street sell-off

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 1.23 percent at 24,639.94 and fell below its 100-day moving average

World shares fell on Wednesday and the US dollar eased off three-week highs as market participants awaited a likely increase in USA interest rates and guidance on how many more to expect for this year.

Market participants are also watching for signs from the United States central bank, which is expected to take a more aggressive path toward normalising monetary policy, as the Federal Reserve's two-day monetary policy meet concludes today.

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates by a quarter percentage point.

Investors were also spooked by signs of a brewing global trade war after the Wall Street Journal reported that China was planning counter-measures against US trade tariffs.

USA stocks pulled back on Monday as a decline in Facebook pressured the technology sector.

Y, which benefit from a higher rate environment, briefly extended gains in the wake of the announcement but lost ground to close down 0.03 percent.

The Fed is widely seen raising its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points when it concludes the first meeting of the Jerome Powell era at 2:00 p.m. ET.

USA stocks sank about 2 percent on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average shedding almost 400 points, as Facebook led a selloff in technology stocks on reports that the social media company's user information was misused.

More news: Actress Cynthia Nixon Announces Run for NY Governor

Concerns over the imposition of US trade tariffs on metals and against China continue to weigh on financial markets.

In greater China, the Hang Seng Index fell 0.61%, while on the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.31%.

Fears of a trade war have also weighed on commodity prices, though tensions in the Middle East supported oil prices on Wednesday.

The energy index.SPNY jumped 2.76 percent as crude oil prices hit a six-week high after a surprise decline in US inventories and as concern persisted over possible disruption to Middle East supply.

An increase would mark its sixth hike since late 2015 when the US central bank started gradually tightening monetary policy following a period of near-zero interest rates in the aftermath of financial crisis in 2008.

Concerns about rising U.S. Treasury bond issuance as the government faces a widening fiscal deficit after last year's U.S. tax cuts has seen yields rise this year.

Shares of Twitter plunged, down 10.3 percent as of 2.22pm in NY, amid concern about increased scrutiny of social media companies and a Bloomberg report that Israel's government is considering taking "legal action" against Twitter for ignoring repeated requests to remove online content that was inciting or supportive of terrorism.

Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet - members of the so-called FAANG group of stocks, along with Facebook - were down between 1.7 percent and 7.2 percent.

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