Market Update & Important Indicators
U.S. stocks finished modestly lower Friday after data showed U.S. employers added the fewest jobs last month in nearly six years, prompting investors to reset their expectations for interest rates yet again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 32 points, or 0.2%, to 17807.06. The S&P 500 lost 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.6%. Shares of financial firms led declines in the S&P 500 with utilities rising the most in the index. The lackluster weekly moves have left the Dow and S&P 500 with a year-to-date gain of more than 2% each, while the Nasdaq Composite has yet to push into positive territory for 2016.
European stocks swung lower Friday, locking in a weekly loss, as a much weaker-than-anticipated U.S. jobs report stoked worries about global growth. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.9% to close at 341.29, relinquishing gains of as much as 0.7% made ahead of the U.S. payrolls data. Stocks reversed course after the U.S. Labor Department said just 38,000 jobs were created in May, marking the smallest increase in hiring since the fall of 2010. Economists had expected a gain of 158,000 nonfarm jobs. As a result, investors reduced their expectations for an interest-rate increase by the Federal Reserve this month, and put into question whether a hike will take place in July.
Chinese shares jumped this week, ending six straight weeks of declines. On Friday, stock markets across. The Shanghai Composite Index notched a 4.2% gain for the week, most of that coming in earlier sessions amid expectations that global index provider MSCI might include mainland Chinese stocks into its widely tracked benchmarks. Elsewhere, the Hang Seng Index gained 0.4% and the Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.5%. For the week, the Nikkei fell 1.1%, after three weeks in the green. Most of its losses came on Thursday as the yen extended gains against the U.S. dollar. Meanwhile, the Hang Seng Index rose 1.8% for the week, with the help of rising oil prices.
Australian shares snapped a seven-week run-up, despite rising Friday, as strong domestic growth data cast doubts over the likelihood of further interest-rate cuts. Mining, energy and bank shares all had a rough week, weighed down by a fall in iron-ore prices, uncertainty in oil markets ahead of Thursday's Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting, and the stronger-than-expected gross domestic product figures released mid-week. After falling over the last three days to a four-week low from Monday's a nine-month high, the S&P/ASX 200 snapped back Friday to rise 40 points, or 0.8%, to 5318.9 on gains across all industry sectors.
Copper futures closed higher on Friday as the weaker U.S. dollar gave the metal a boost. The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract was up 1.74% to $4,688 a ton at the PM kerb close. The other base metals were also higher. Aluminium was 0.4% at $1,535 a ton; nickel was up 0.3% at $8,455 a ton; and zinc was up 0.5% at $1,989 a ton.
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