World stocks edge up on strong earnings

Published: August 04, 2018 11:26:48 | Updated: August 07, 2018 11:46:48


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Stocks around the world edged higher on Friday on robust earnings, with consumer staples results boosting Wall Street.

The markets rose slightly though a trade spat between the United States and China along with tepid US jobs numbers capped gains and weighed on the dollar.

Market participants were still focused on an escalating trade dispute between the United States and China, which proposed new tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 138.7 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 25,464.86, the S&P 500 gained 12.72 points, or 0.45 per cent, to 2,839.94 and the Nasdaq Composite added 5.90 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 7,808.59, reports Reuters.

The S&P consumer staples sector rose 1.3 per cent and led the gains among major S&P sectors, after getting a boost from Kraft Heinz Co earnings. Kraft Heinz jumped 8.9 per cent.

A fall in technology companies, such as Google parent Alphabet, which was down 0.6 per cent, and Activision Blizzard’s 3.9 percent drop, weighed down the Nasdaq.

Still, for the week, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were set to post gains. The Dow was on track to post a weekly loss.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.35 per cent, while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.67 per cent.

According to Bespoke Investment Group, mentions of tariffs in S&P 500 company earnings reports for the second quarter have more than doubled from the first quarter of this year.

Following news of China’s retaliatory tariffs and the US jobs data, yields on 7-year US Treasury notes led a fall in US government bond yields across maturities.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 9/32 in price to yield 2.9543 per cent, from 2.986 percent late on Thursday.

The 30-year bond last rose 17/32 in price to yield 3.0934 per cent, from 3.121 per cent late the previous day.

Italy’s bonds had a volatile day, with yields soaring to eight-week highs early in the day over political tensions, then falling back by the close.

The US dollar slipped against the yuan after the Chinese central bank raised the forward reserve requirement for foreign exchange in a bid to stabilize its currency. The dollar was 0.47 per cent lower against the offshore yuan.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, was flat on the day at 95.148, after dipping as low as 94.98. The index was up 0.5 per cent for the week.

Oil prices edged lower after Thursday’s rally, which was driven by an industry report suggesting US crude stockpiles would soon decline after a surprise rise in the latest week.

US crude oil futures settled at $68.49 a barrel, down 0.68 per cent. Brent crude futures settled at $73.21, down 0.33 per cent.

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