World stocks steady amid political uncertainty

Published: May 19, 2018 11:12:40 | Updated: May 22, 2018 11:58:15

Representational image (Collected)

World stocks steadied Friday as the political uncertainty in Italy weighed on the country’s stocks and bonds as well as the euro, while Wall Street wobbled amid tepid corporate earnings and trade concerns.

The US dollar’s rally continued, rising for a fifth straight session against a basket of currencies, reports Reuters.

Investors were digesting asset moves from earlier this week, when the 10-year benchmark US Treasury yields broke above 3.1 per cent and oil topped $80 a barrel.

On Friday, oil prices were little changed and the 10-year bond yield retreated from a near-seven year peak.

Yields on Italy’s 10-year bond rose to its highest point in more than seven months, while the country’s stocks slumped 1.5 per cent.

The euro was down 0.17 per cent to $1.1773, on track for a fifth session of declines.

Major European stock markets fell. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.29 per cent, but posted gains for an eighth straight week.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 6.94 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 24,720.92, the S&P 500 lost 6 points, or 0.22 per cent, to 2,714.13 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 20.59 points, or 0.28 per cent, to 7,361.89.

Investors were watching developments in trade talks between the United States and China. On Friday, China denied it had offered a package to slash the US trade deficit by up to $200 billion.

On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump said China and other countries had become “very spoiled” on trade.

Oil prices were little changed, while Brent crude was on track for a sixth straight week of gains, boosted by plummeting Venezuelan production, strong global demand and looming US sanctions on Iran.

The benchmark on Thursday broke through $80 for the first time since November 2014.

US crude rose 0.06 percent to $71.53 per barrel and Brent was last at $78.94, down 0.45 percent on the day.

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