The S & P500 and the Nasdaq closed slightly higher Friday, October 23 in choppy trading, as investor eyes turned to negotiations on a stimulus package in the United States that could ease the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.
Dow closed today’s session lower after moving in a limited range.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 28.09 points, equivalent to 0.1%, to 28335.57 points, and the S & P500 index closed up 11.9 points, or 0.34%, to 3465.39 points, and the Nasdaq composite index increased 42.28 points, or 0.37%, to 11548.28 points.
On a weekly basis, the Dow is down 0.9%, the S & P500 is down 0.5%, and the Nasdaq is down 1.1%.
European stocks rose Friday, October 23rd, buoyed by positive business results from Barclays and a rise in Airbus shares, but continuing concerns about the economic impact of the acceleration of Covid-19 infections made the markets post their biggest weekly loss in a month.
The Stoxx600 index broke a four-day series of losses, rising 0.6%, while the best performance among the European stock market indexes for the British FT index was the British FT index after Barclays’s stock jumped 7%, supported by strong business results.
This raised the banks ’index and put it on the path to achieving the best monthly performance in more than a year.
Other sectors that are considered more sensitive economically, such as the automobile industry, oil and gas, also rose.
Meanwhile, today’s data showed that euro zone economic activity declined this month, while Germany’s manufacturing sector grew at a faster pace in October.
But German service sector activity has contracted, indicating that the largest European economy is operating at two different paces.
Oil fell about 2% on Friday, October 23rd, ending the week on a decline, in light of an expected increase in Libya’s crude supplies and concerns about demand resulting from the acceleration of Coronavirus infections in the United States and Europe.
Crude prices fell after the National Oil Corporation in Libya said it had lifted the status of force majeure on exports from two major ports, and that production could reach one million barrels per day within four weeks.
And US crude settled at 39.85 dollars a barrel, down 79 cents, or 1.9%. Brent crude settled at $ 41.77 a barrel, down 69 cents, or 1.6%.
On a weekly basis, US crude lost 2.5% and Brent contracts lost 2.7%.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Moscow did not rule out an extension of OPEC + oil production cuts, but analysts said this was not sufficient to offset the impact of expectations of increased Libyan production and demand concerns.
OPEC +, which groups Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is set to raise production by 2 million barrels per day in January 2021.
Baker Hughes Energy Services said US energy companies added five oil rigs, bringing the total number of rigs in operation to 287 in the week ending on October 23, the highest number since May.
The number of rigs is an indication of future supplies.
Gold stabilized on Friday as expectations of an eventual US stimulus package were offset by the pressures imposed by the strong dollar.
There was no significant change in gold in immediate trading at 1903.36 dollars an ounce before the opening of the European markets, after dropping more than one percent in the previous session.
US gold futures rose 0.01% to $ 1,905.80.
Gold, which is seen as a hedge in the face of potential inflation, is up 0.3% for the week.
The dollar index rose 0.1% against a basket of major currencies, which increases the cost of gold to holders of other currencies.
The market’s focus now turns to the US presidential election on Nov.3, after US President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, presented starkly contrasting views on the pandemic in the final presidential debate on Thursday.
As for the other precious metals, silver fell 0.9% to $ 24.54 an ounce, but it is heading for a weekly gain of 1.5%. Platinum fell 0.3% to $ 882.40 and palladium rose 0.6% to $ 2,387.02.
The dollar stabilized against most currencies on Friday after a balanced presidential debate in the United States, but it is heading towards a weekly loss as investors await stimulus talks in Washington and post-Brexit trade negotiations.
US President Donald Trump adopted a more conservative tone compared to what he was in the first debate, but Thursday’s debate focused again on dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and personal insults.
The dollar fell 0.03% against a basket of currencies in early trade in Europe, near a seven-week low it reached on Wednesday. The dollar is still down around 0.7% for the week.
The euro was little changed against the dollar at 1.1818, as was the pound at $ 1.3084.
The safe-haven yen rose about 0.1% to 104.71 for the dollar, trimming some of the losses it incurred on Thursday, after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the stimulus talks were making progress.
Hopes that Congress might pass a stimulus package ahead of the presidential election and confidence that spending might follow, regardless of who is elected, have led to a wave of selling in the bond market in anticipation of inflation and government borrowing.
The Chinese yuan also held on to its gains against the dollar after an official with the State Administration of Foreign Exchange in China said that the Chinese currency is more stable than expected, indicating that the authorities are not too concerned about its recent appreciation.
The yuan has gained about 7.5% since the end of May, as China leads the global recovery from the Corona virus. And it recorded in the last session 6.68 for the dollar in internal trading, down about half a percent from the 27-month peak it hit on Wednesday.
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