Washington DC, USA: Financial markets across the globe tumbled on Wednesday after US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's semi-annual testimony on monetary policy on the Capitol Hill. Investors were spooked by Bernanke's downbeat assessment of the US economic outlook, which he dubbed as "unusually uncertain", and his simultaneous admission that no moves were imminent at the Fed's end to bolster the recovery.
Analysts said it was fairly evident in the way the markets had been trading of late that there was a lot of uncertainty over the growth outlook. But for the Fed chairman to admit it in such a direct manner was incendiary.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a loss of 109.43 points, or 1.1%, to 10,120.53, with all but four of its 30 components losing ground.
The S&P 500 Index declined 13.89 points, or 1.3%, to 1,069.59, with declines extending to all 10 of its industry groups.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 35.16 points, or 1.6%, to 2,187.33.
However, all three indexes managed to hang onto slight weekly gains by the close.