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posted on 15 April 2017

Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 14 April 2017

Written by , Investing.com

US stocks closer: Dow sheds more than 100 points

U.S. stocks closed lower on Thursday, as risk off sentiment continued for a third straight day, despite bullish earnings from banks and upbeat U.S. economic data. Markets were closed Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.67% lower at 20,453. The S&P 500 lost 0.68% and the Nasdaq Composite closed 0.53% higher at 5805.15.


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The top S&P 500 gainers included; Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ALXN) up 3.3%, and Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ:INCY) 1.9%, while Coty Inc (NYSE:COTY) added 1.6%.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) down 4.2%, Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NASDAQ:AMD) down 3.5% and Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) down 3.3%, were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was up 2.03% to 16.09 a new 3-months high.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.85% or 10.85 to $1288.95 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 0.04% or 0.02 to hit $53.13 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.02% or 0.01 to trade at $55.87 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.47% to 1.0615, while USD/JPY rose 0.13% to 109.17.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.44% at 100.50.

See also U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.67%.

Read additional news from Reuters at Investing.com.

Forex

The dollar rose against a basket of major currencies on Thursday, mounting a recovery from its slump in the previous session, following President Trump’s comments the currency was “getting too strong" while mostly upbeat economic data lifted sentiment.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.32% to 100.38 by 17:41 EDT.

The dollar suffered its biggest one-day slump in more than three weeks on Wednesday, after President Trump told the Wall Street Journal, he thinks the currency (dollar) is “getting too strong" and favored a low interest rate environment.

But the dollar mounted a recovery on Thursday, as investors seemed to cover short positions, ahead of the Good Friday holiday in the U.S. and Europe this week.

Trump’s comments modestly dampened expectations of a June rate hike, according to investing.com’s fed rate monitor tool, the probability of a June rate hike eased to 49.5% from 52.8%, a day earlier.

Meanwhile, slower than expected growth in initial jobless claims and bullish consumer sentiment lifted sentiment while US producer prices dropped for the first time in seven months.

The Labor Department said on Thursday, initial jobless claims fell by 1,000 to a 234,000 for the week ended April 8 while the producer price index for final demand slipped 0.1% last month.

The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index climbed to 98.0 in April, well above expectations of a fall to 96.5.

Elsewhere, the 'flight to safety' trade eased, as the dollar turned positive against the yen, after USD/JPY added 0.15% to trade at 109.19.

GBP/USD fell by 0.12% to $1.2523 while the USD/CAD added 0.17% to $1.3272.

EUR/USD traded at $1.0625, down 0.38%, while EUR/GBP lost 0.24% to 0.8487.

Commitments of Traders

This week speculators were more bearish on the euro and the pound and more bullish on Oil and Gold. Gold net longsreached a 5-month high.

Note: This data is for the week ending on Tuesday so the last three days (this week two because markets were closed Friday) of trading are not reflected.

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Gold

Gold prices traded higher on Thursday, as investors continued to back the precious metal amid geopolitical concerns while mostly upbeat economic data failed to weigh on sentiment.

Gold for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange added $10.05, or 0.78%, to $1,288.15 a troy ounce by 13:39 EDT. Gold is on track for its best week since June.

Gold prices shrugged off upbeat economic data as investors continued to pour into safe haven assets such as gold amid concerns geopolitical tensions could escalate, as a U.S. carrier group sailed towards the Korean Peninsula.

The Labor Department said on Thursday, initial jobless claims fell by 1,000 to a 234,000 for the week ended April 8 while the producer price index for final demand slipped 0.1% last month.

The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index climbed to 98.0 in April, well above expectations of a fall to 96.5.

A sharp recovery in the dollar failed to weigh on gold prices as geopolitical tensions remained front and center.

Dollar-denominated gold is sensitive to moves in the dollar - A rise in the dollar makes dollar-denominated assets such as gold, more expensive for holders of foreign currency and thus, reduces demand.

U.S. - Russia relations have strained over the past few days, as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson received an icy reception on arrival at Moscow on Wednesday, after the U.S. launched an airstrike on a Syrian airbase.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday, the U.S. is “not getting along" with Russia and relations are at an “all-time low".

Silver futures added 1.14% to $18.508, a troy ounce while copper gained 0.94% to trade at $2.569.

Platinum notched 0.78% to trade at $975.40.

Oil

Crude settled higher on Thursday, after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the oil demand and supply imbalance was close to breakeven, after several developed countries reined in production.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for May delivery gained 7 cents to settle at $53.18 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent added 1 cents to trade at $55.87 a barrel.

The IEA said the global oil market is close to balance, after three years of excess supply, as oil stockpiles across The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries fell by 17.2 million barrels in March.

The drop in production, resulted in a marginal increase of 38.5 million barrels for the first quarter of the year.

"The net result is that global stocks might have marginally increased in the first quarter, versus an implied draw of about 0.2 million barrels per day," the IEA said.

The bullish comments from the IEA came a day after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) new monthly report on Wednesday, revealed its members cut oil output in March more than anticipated.

Meanwhile, Oilfield services firm Barker Hughes reported its weekly U.S. rig count rose by 11 to 683, it was the thirteenth straight weekly increase.

Crude prices have notched three straight weeks of gains to recover from the slump in March, when prices fell to a four-month low of $47.01, on the back of concerns that a ramp up in U.S. oil production would dampen OPEC’s efforts to drain the glut in supply.

In November last year, OPEC and other producers, including Russia agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of this year.

Recently, OPEC members including Saudi Arabia have expressed a desire to extend the global deal to cut oil supply for an additional six months beyond June.

Natural Gas (Thursday Report)

There is no natural gas report this week.

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