US stocks sank again Thursday as investors shunned equities amid lingering worries over surging global inflation and the prospect of rising interest rates.

Wall Street opened the day higher following equity gains in some European and Asian bourses after China's central bank cut its lending rate.

While some commentators described the US market as "oversold" after the Nasdaq moved into correction territory following a 10 percent fall from its peak, Wall Street stocks plunged into the red, ending sharply lower.

"It's momentum going the other way," said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare, who sees the Federal Reserve's recent 180-degree pivot on monetary policy as the driving force in the current trend.

"Last year it was 'buy the dip,'" O'Hare said of trader sentiment. "This year, it's 'sell into strength.'"

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 34,715.39, down 0.9 percent and a 775-point drop from its session peak.

US stocks have been under pressure thus far in 2022 as Fed Chair Jerome Powell shifts the central bank's policy from highly accommodative and supportive of growth to a tightening mode focused on reining in inflation.

"Investors are still worried about inflation and a much much tighter Federal Reserve," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital.

In China, the central bank said it had lowered the one-year loan prime rate to 3.7 percent from 3.8 percent in December in the latest move to boost its stuttering economy.

Thursday's decision comes after the world's second-biggest economy reported strong 8.1 percent growth in 2021, though much of the expansion occurred in the first half of the year.

The central bank also cut the interest rate on its one-year policy loans on Monday -- the first drop in the key rate for loans to financial institutions since early 2020.

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.9 percent at 34,715.39 (close)

Investors remain grounded by concerns about the US Federal Reserve's monetary policy plans as it battles soaring inflation, supply chain snarls, rising wages and a spike in energy prices. Investors remain grounded by concerns about the US Federal Reserve's monetary policy plans as it battles soaring inflation, supply chain snarls, rising wages and a spike in energy prices. Photo: AFP / Daniel SLIM

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 1.1 percent at 4,482.73 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 1.3 percent at 14,154.02 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,585.01 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.7 percent at 15,912.33 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 7,194.16 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.7 percent at 4,299.61 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.1 percent at 27,772.93 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 3.4 percent at 24,952.35 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,555.06 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1311 from $1.1343 late Wednesday

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3595 from $1.3612

Euro/pound: DOWN at 83.17 pence from 83.33 pence

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.1 percent at $88.38 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.1 percent at $86.90 per barrel