Global stocks near flat; dollar rebounds

Published: January 12, 2019 12:26:05 | Updated: January 26, 2019 15:05:46

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Global stocks were near flat on Friday while the dollar rebounded against most currencies from earlier losses tied to expectations the US central bank is in no hurry to raise interest rates.

US stocks retreated as investors booked profits and reset positions ahead of the earnings season.

The initial pause came in the wake of a strong start to 2019, which lifted the S&P 500 by more than 10 per cent from a 20-month low it touched around Christmas.

With big US banks kicking off the fourth-quarter reporting season next week, investors will comb through earnings reports and projections for signs of a slowdown in economic growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 5.97 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 23,995.95, the S&P 500 lost 0.38 point, or 0.01 per cent, to 2,596.26 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 14.59 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 6,971.48, reports Reuters.

For the week, the Dow rose 2.4 per cent, the S&P 500 added 2.54 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 3.45 per cent.

The pan-European STOXX 600 benchmark was up 0.09 per cent, bringing its weekly gain to 1.7 per cent.

MSCI’s all-country index, was flat at 473.26. It posted a weekly increase to 2.9 per cent, which was its strongest such rise in six weeks.

Treasury yields fell on safe-haven buying spurred by stock losses and as data showed US consumer prices fell for the first time in nine months in December.

The yields on benchmark 10-year US Treasury notes fell 3 basis points at 2.702 per cent, holding below a two-week peak reached earlier this week.

In currency markets, the dollar rose against the euro, boosted by technical factors after the euro hit key resistance levels.

The euro was down 0.32 per cent against the dollar at $1.1463, marking a weekly gain of 0.6 per cent.

China’s onshore yuan finished the domestic session at 6.7482 per dollar, up 1.8 per cent this week in its biggest gain since July 2005 when Beijing abandoned the yuan’s peg to the dollar.

In commodities, oil prices declined, reducing their weekly gains tied to hopes that the United States and China may soon resolve their trade dispute.

Brent crude settled down $1.20 or 1.95 per cent to $60.48 a barrel, ending the week with a 6.0 per cent gain.

US crude futures settled $1 or 1.90 per cent lower at $51.59 a barrel, resulting in a weekly gain of about 8 percent which was the largest increase since June.

Gold edged higher for a fourth straight week of gains on bets the Fed could soon stop raising interest rates, which boost the appeal of the non-yielding metal. Spot gold rose 0.09 per cent to $1,287.5 per ounce.

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