Wall Street lower as Fed meeting begins

NYSE traders Image copyright Getty Images

US shares closed lower as the latest Federal Reserve meeting got under way, while oil stocks were hit by falling crude prices.

Most investors are assuming the US central bank will announce a rise in interest rates on Wednesday, when its two-day meeting concludes.

The Dow Jones fell 44.11 points to 20837.37.

The S&P 500 dropped 8.02 points to 2365.45 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 18.97 points at 5856.82.

Oil prices fell to three-month lows after the producers' cartel Opec said crude stockpiles in developed countries had risen in January.

Brent crude fell 0.5% to $51.09 a barrel, while US crude dropped 1% to $47.90.

That hit shares in oil-related stocks. Chevron was the biggest faller on the Dow, down 1.8%.