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Mixed finish for US stocks

Capital Market 

Dow eked out an eighth-straight gain on Friday

US stocks ended mixed at Wall Street on Friday, 13 September 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out an eighth-straight gain on Friday, while the blue chip index and the S&P 500 remain within striking distance of fresh all-time highs as Sino-American trade tensions ease and central banks support risk taking with economic stimulus measures. The market entered today on a tear, closing in on record highs amid improved outlooks for trade and growth. Positive-sounding trade news today included China exempting U.S. soybeans and pork from additional tariffs and President Trump acknowledging that he would at least consider an interim trade deal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37.07 points, or 0.1%, at 27,219.52, but the S&P 500 fell 2.18 points, or 0.1%, to 3,007.39, and the Nasdaq Composite Index retreated 17.75 points, or 0.2%. For the week, the Dow rose 1.6%, the S&P 500 added 1% and the Nasdaq advanced 0.9%.

Softening trade tensions between the U.S. and China, with the hope of formal negotiations restarting early next month, and easy-money policies being undertaken by global central banks have all helped to momentarily quell many investors's fears that a near-term recession will grip the U.S. economy. Beijing made further concessions to the U.S. on international trade on Friday, adding agricultural products like soybeans and pork to the list of imports exempted tariffs.

Trade-sensitive groups like the S&P 500 materials and industrials sectors showed relative strength while the energy and financials sectors capped off an impressive week on a high note.

On Thursday, the European Central Bank on Thursday cut its deposit rate from -0.4% to -0.5%, while announcing it would restart open-ended purchasing of long-term government bonds at a pace of 20 billion a month in an effort to further reduce long-term interest rates.

The Federal Reserve will deliver its monetary policy statement, with further rate cuts widely expected, on Sept. 18.

The dolar index lost 0.1% on Friday.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note extended its weekly gain on Friday, adding 11 basis points to 1.894% from 1.789% late Thursday. This week saw the biggest bond market sell off in several years.

Bullion prices ended lower at Comex on Friday, 13 September 2019 at Comex. Gold futures ended lower on Friday, giving up earlier gains to feed a loss for the week as appetite returned for assets perceived as risky and bond yields climb. Gold pared some of its earlier gains then turned lower after Friday's economic data hit Wall Street.

December gold on Comex lost $7.90, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,499.50 an ounce, with the commodity suffering at a weekly decline of 1.1%. Silver for December delivery dropped 60.8 cents, or 3.3%, to $17.569 an ounce. Prices saw a weekly loss of 3%.

Meanwhile, the dollar as measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index, a gauge of the greenback against six rival currencies, was poised to register a 0.2% weekly loss. It was also trading 0.7% lower month to date. A weaker dollar can make dollar-pegged commodities more appealing to buyers using other currencies.

Rising government bond yields, which compete with gold for investors seeking safety, were undercutting demand for gold and other precious assets that don't bear a coupon.

Crude oil futures finished lower on Friday, 13 September 2019 with both U.S. and international benchmark crude posting sizable weekly falls as worries about the prospect of rising inventories appeared to overshadow a U.S.-China tariff detente.

West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery fell 24 cents, or 0.4%, to settle at $54.85 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange for a roughly 3% weekly decline tracking the front-active contract. November Brent crude shed 16 cents, or 0.3%, to $60.22 a barrel on the ICE Futures, with prices marking a weekly fall of 2.1%.

Signs of cooling animosities between Beijing and Washington, representing the largest economies in the world and big consumers of crude, have been a focus for oil traders because that conflict has threatened to hurting the global economy and damage demand for crude. China made further concessions to the U.S. on international trade on Friday, adding agricultural products like soybeans and pork to the list of imports exempted tariffs, as prospects for at least an interim deal to resolve the two year old trade dispute improve.

However, U.S. rig-count data from Baker Hughes implied a slowdown in drilling rig activity. The data revealed that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil declined by five to 733 this week. That marked a fourth straight weekly decline.

Looking ahead, investors will receive the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for September on Monday.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, September 16 2019. 11:38 IST
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