Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks rose to fresh highs Friday, capping a cascade of records around the world. The global economy and corporate profits are showing signs of strength, boosting stocks both in the U.S. and elsewhere, some analysts and investors said. The Dow industrials, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were among the global indexes, including the U.K.'s FTSE 100 and South Korea's Kospi, at records Friday. The gains in the U.S. came after a jobs report that several analysts and investors said was solid enough for the Federal Reserve to raise rates later this month, but also suggested that the central bank would maintain a cautious pace of increases. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 62.11 points, or 0.3%, to 21206.29 on Friday. The S&P 500 added 9.01 points, or 0.4%, to 2439.07 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 58.97, or 0.9%, to 6305.80. All three indexes posted a second consecutive week of gains. Friday's climb came after a mixed jobs report. Hiring slowed in May from the prior month, with payrolls rising by a seasonally adjusted 138,000, the Labor Department said Friday. The unemployment rate fell to 4.3%, the lowest level in 16 years. The U.S. gold price jumped 1.0% for the day finishing at 1,278.50 US$/oz.
European stocks trimmed earlier gains to end with a small advance on Friday after U.S. jobs data fell short of expectations and raised questions about the strength of the world's largest economy. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index ended 0.2% higher at 392.55, after rising as much as 0.8% earlier in the day. The pullback came after the closely watched U.S. nonfarm payrolls report showed 138,000 jobs were added to the economy in May, far below the consensus forecast of 185,000. The unemployment rate, however, fell to 4.3% from 4.4%, the lowest since 2001.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average climbed above 20000 points for the first time in 18 months, leading broad equity gains across the region. The index gained 1.6%, lifted by the dollar's rising strength against the yen, which benefits Japan's exporters. The dollar was last up 0.3% against the yen. Korea's Kospi was up 1.2% and Taiwan's Taiex was up 0.7%, on track to reach multiyear closing highs. The Kospi benefited from improved local-investor sentiment after South Korea's first-quarter gross domestic product was revised higher. The Shanghai Composite Index was up just under 0.1% after a private gauge of manufacturing activity released Thursday showed a contraction in May–the first in nearly a year.
Fresh highs for major Wall Street indexes overnight set the tone for a strong finish to the week for Australian shares as banks continued to recover from heavy selling in May. The local market advanced Friday for a fourth consecutive day, buoyed by widespread buying as investors picked up stocks caught in last month's fall, the sharpest since January 2016. Ending near its high of the day, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 50 points, or 0.9%, to reach 5788.1. That left the index 0.6% higher for the week. Most sectors of the Australian market were stronger for the day, although energy stocks were held back by continued weakness in oil prices in Asian trading.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed 0.6% lower on Friday at $5,665/t. The other base metals finished mixed. Aluminium prices rose 0.3% to 1,929/t, whilst nickel prices rose 0.9% to 8,874/t. Falling for the day, tin prices fell 0.6% to 20,420/t, whilst zinc prices shed 1.7% to 2,515/t. Lead prices were flat for the day finishing at 2,089/t.
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