U.S. stocks finished mixed Friday, but posted weekly gains, as enthusiasm over a drop in the U.S. unemployment rate gave way to caution ahead of the beginning of the quarterly earnings season. The better-than-expected numbers on U.S. jobs growth also sent European stock markets rallying on Friday, with banks and resource firms leading major indexes higher. Asian markets fell this morning as resource-sector shares dropped on doubts about the duration of monetary easing after an upbeat U.S. jobs report on Friday, with investors also cautious amid concerns over Spain’s financial health.
The S&P 500 closed nearly unchanged, slipping 0.47 point to 1 460.93, though the index rose 1.4% for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 34.79 points, or 0.3%, to end at 13 610.15, its highest closing value since December 2007. The blue-chip index posted a weekly gain of 1.3%. The Nasdaq Composite fell 13.27 points, or 0.4%, to end at 3 136.19; the index gained 0.6% for the week.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 1% to close at 274.11. The index closed the week up 2.1%, the best weekly performance since early September. In Paris, the CAC 40 index rallied 1.6% to 3 457.04, posting a 3.1% weekly gain. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index rose 0.7% to 5 871.02 and ended the week 2.3% higher, buoyed by banks and resource firms. The German DAX 30 index gained 1.3% to 7 397.87. The benchmark closed the week 2.5% higher.
The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.8% after a volatile start to the day as mainland stock markets reopened after the Golden Week holidays. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.6%, South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.8%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.4% and Taiwan’s Taiex retreated 0.9%.
The US dollar is currently trading at 1.29 to the euro, 1.61 to the pound and will buy 78.55 Japanese Yen or 8.78 South African Rand.
On Friday the JSE All Share index was up 0.89% at 36 591.84 points‚ while the Top 40 – index was up 1.10% at 32 358.02 points after earlier rallying to a fresh record level. The platinum index climbed 3.39%‚ resources rose 2.68% but banks pulled back 2.04%.
The benchmark R157 bond was trading at 5.380% from 5.310% at Thursday’s close and 5.305% at Wednesday’s close. The R207 was bid at 6.515% and offered at 6.485% from its previous close of 6.430%‚ and the R186 was trading at 7.645% from 7.515% at its previous close.
Spot gold is currently trading at US$ 1 770.70/oz. and platinum at US$ 1 686.00/oz. Brent crude oil is currently trading at US$ 112.02 per barrel.