Market Update & Important Indicators
The S&P 500 rose Friday and posted a second straight week of gains, as a rise in health-care stocks offset a drop in energy shares in recent sessions. Though the S&P 500's health-care sector slipped Friday, it notched its biggest weekly rise since the presidential election. Shares of pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology firms jumped this past week following some encouraging data on drug development. Health-care companies joined the climb, including Thursday when Senate Republicans unveiled their plans to overhaul the Affordable Care Act. The broader S&P 500 index rose 3.8 points, or 0.2%, to 2438.30 on Friday, while the Nasdaq Composite added 28.56, or 0.5%, to 6265.25. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 2.53 points, or less than 0.1%, to 21394.76. The S&P 500 gained 0.2% for the week, while the Nasdaq Composite added 1.8%-helped by a rise in biotech and technology shares. The U.S. gold price also gained overnight, jumping 0.3% to 1,256.60 US$/oz.
Equities in Europe lost ground on Friday, as energy shares extended losses in what's been a dreadful week for oil prices, while investors assessed mixed signals about the eurozone economy. The Stoxx Europe 600 closed down 0.2% at 387.62, the lowest close since June 15. The technology and consumer services sectors were the only ones printing gains when traded closed. The pan-European benchmark ended with a 0.3% decline for the week, the third consecutive losing week. Stocks remained in the red as the first, or flash, reading of growth in the eurozone's manufacturing and services sector slowed for June, although the region is undergoing its best quarter of growth in six years. Markit's flash eurozone PMI composite output index came in at 55.7 in June, a five-month low.
Shanghai stocks recovered to trade up 0.3% in a volatile session after increased regulatory scrutiny over the borrowings of China's most prolific overseas deal makers sent markets lower. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped as much as 0.9% following news that regulators had ordered banks to check their loans to major Chinese conglomerates. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.1% despite a preliminary survey showing that the nation's manufacturing activity slowed in June.
Australian shares edged higher on Friday, even as banking stocks were jolted by a fresh tax grab. Investor enthusiasm for resources and healthcare stocks helped the S&P/ASX 200 index close up 0.2% or 9.9 points at 5715.9, representing its second straight day of gains.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract gained 1.0% to close at $5,781/t. The other base metals finished mostly higher. Lead prices rose 1.2% to 2,213/t, nickel prices rose 0.7% to 9,031/t, whilst zinc prices rose 0.3% to 2,704/t. Tin prices bucked the trend falling 0.2% to 19,290/t as did Aluminium prices, losing 0.2% to 1,857/t.
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