U.S. stocks rallied to session highs by the close of a low-volume trading session Friday, cementing the fifth week of gains for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500, and the Nasdaq Composite’s fourth weekly rise. Weaker-than-expected data on Chinese exports Friday triggered selling across European markets, with the main benchmark halting a five-day winning streak, as oil, drug and food stocks led the way south. Stocks struggled to gain traction in choppy range-bound trading across Asia on Monday, although the Australian market found some support from corporate news.
The Dow average ended up 42.76 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 13 207.95. It rose 0.9 per cent for the week. The S&P 500 gained 3.07 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 1 405.87, up 1.1 per cent for the week. The Nasdaq Composite rose 2.22 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 3 020.86, rising 1.8 per cent for the week. Stocks had faltered early on but then rebounded, helped by expectations for more global central-bank stimulus.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.1 per cent to 269.88, after closing up in the prior session. Markets found support Thursday from China data that opened the door to more monetary policy and well-received results from major blue chips. The German DAX 30 index fell 0.3 per cent to 6 944.56, as several key stocks were under pressure. In London, the FTSE 100 index fell 0.1 per cent to 5 847.11. The French CAC 40 index fell to 3 435.62.
South Korea’s Kopsi and the Shanghai Composite index each lost 0.5 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged down 0.1 per cent, and Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average traded little changed. The Australian S&P/ASX 200 index bucked the weakness, however, with an advance of 0.3 per cent.
The US dollar is currently trading at 1.22 to the euro, 1.56 to the pound and will buy 78.26 Japanese Yen or 8.08 South African Rand.
The JSE all-share index gained 0.23 per cent to 35 574.51 points‚ with financial the worst performing sector‚ down 0.14 per cent‚ while gold stocks gained 2.17 per cent.
The benchmark R157 bond was trading at 5.610 per cent from Wednesday’s close of 5.595 per cent. The R207 was bid at 6.580 per cent and offered at 6.575 per cent from its previous close of 6.560 per cent and the R186 was bid at 7.400 per cent and offered at 7.385 per cent from its previous close of 7.370 per cent.
Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 619.70/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 400.70/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 112.95 per barrel.