Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks edged higher, as investors took advantage of a momentary pause in trade tensions to boost major indexes' gains for the second quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose as much as 293 points earlier in the session before paring its gain in the final hour of trading. Shares of energy companies rose alongside a spike in oil prices, while Nike, pulled the S&P 500 and Dow industrials higher after the athletic apparel retailer reported its first sales gain in four quarters, sending shares to their highest closing price ever. The developments offered a more stable footing for stocks after the Trump administration backed away from imposing tough new restrictions on Chinese investments in the U.S., helping to ease fears of an all-out trade war between two of the world's biggest economies. All three major indexes notched a second consecutive session of gains Friday after several days when the S&P 500 and Dow industrials switched between gains and losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 55 points, or 0.2%, to 24271. The S&P 500 rose less than 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.1%. The US gold price gained 0.4% to 1,252 US$/oz.
European stock markets rallied after European Union leaders working overnight knocked out an agreement on refugees, a deal seen as removing political risk that had been hanging over equities. The Stoxx Europe 600 index climbed 0.8% to close at 379.93, trimming its weekly loss to 1.3%. On Thursday, it fell 0.8% as traders were niggled by lingering worries over trade tensions. For the second quarter, which ended after Friday's closing bell, the Stoxx 600 rose 2.4% gain, rebounding from a 4.7% loss in the first three months of the year. Germany's DAX 30 index ended up 1.1% at 12,306 on Friday and France's CAC 40 index rallied 0.9% to 5,323.53, turning positive for the year.
Asian stocks have in general had a bad go of it lately, especially though in and around China. But the second quarter ended on an up note for most. Bulls can only hope it wasn't just window-dressing. Chinese benchmarks popped 2-4%, while Shenzhen indexes posted their biggest gains in 2 years. But that didn't prevent the Shanghai and Shenzhen composites from having their worst month since early 2016 or their first three-quarter losing streak since 2011. Benchmarks in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia ended up more than 1% while those in the Philippines and Taiwan closed with gains of more than 1%.
Perhaps it figures that on a day a number of Asian stocks have risen strongly, equities Down Under lagged. After a 0.6% decline in New Zealand, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 sagged in the last hour of trading and finished down 0.3% at 6194.6, reversing yesterday's bounce. But the benchmark still logged a 3% gain for the month-its third-straight rise-and its best quarter in 3 years at 7.6%. The heavily weighted big banks helped drive June's push, with the financial sector up 4.1%. Energy jumped 7.8% amid the past week's pop in oil prices. But the telecom space slid 5.8% last month as Telstra continues to hit fresh seven-year lows.
Base metal prices were mixed on the London Metal Exchange. The 3-month copper contract lost 0.1% to 6,625/t while tin finished 0.7% higher at 19,830/t. The price of aluminium fell 0.8% to 2,154/t and nickel finished up at 14,823/t. Zinc retreated 1.1% to end at 2,907/t.
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