Market Update & Important Indicators:
U.S. stocks fell Friday but notched weekly gains as global central banks assuaged investors' fears about the possibility of an end to easy money. Friday's declines deepened as tumbling oil prices pulled down shares of energy companies. Energy shares in the S&P 500 fell 1.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.7%, and the S&P 500 declined 0.6%. The Nasdaq Composite also slipped 0.6%. For the week, the S&P 500 gained 1.2% after the Federal Reserve held off on raising interest rates and the Bank of Japan revamped its monetary policy. Looking to next week, focus for investors turns to the debate on Monday between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Other investors argue the outcome of the debate may ultimately have little impact on the stock market, barring a brief period of volatility if polls tighten.
European stocks declined on Friday, pulling back from the prior day's rally after the latest round of economic data painted a mixed picture of the region's recovery. The Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 0.7% to finish at 345.34. For the week, the Stoxx 600 still achieved a 2.2% advance, its biggest since mid-July.
Asian shares finished mixed Friday, with some markets boosted by central banks deciding to stick with easy-money policies, while Japanese stocks were weighed down by a strong yen. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.2%, while Singapore's Straits Times Index was flat. Tokyo's Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.3%, after the yen strengthened Thursday—when Japanese markets were closed for a holiday–following the Federal Reserve's decision to keep U.S. rates unchanged. Still, the Nikkei gained 1.4% for the week. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.4%, giving up some of Thursday's gains, though property developers gained. They stand to benefit from the Fed's rate decision, as Hong Kong's interest-rate movements mirror those of the U.S., the local currency being pegged to the U.S. dollar.
Australian shares advanced for the first week in more than a month on signs key central banks aren't about to slam the brakes on the era of easy-money policies. The local market rose for a fourth-straight day on Friday after a cautious start to the week ahead of central bank policy meetings in Japan and the U.S. The major banks led broad gains to cap the week, helping the S&P/ASX 200 close at its highest since Aug. 31. The index ended near the session's highs, up 56.8 points, or 1.1%, at 5431.3. For the week, the ASX 200 rose 2.5%, ending a five-week losing streak. It now stands up 2.6% so far in 2016. This week's U.S. Federal Reserve meeting triggered a "risk on move" for global markets, said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.
The London Metal Exchange's three-month copper contract closed up 0.04% at $4,855/t. Other base metals were mixed on Friday. Aluminium prices rose 0.2% to $1,629/t, tin rose 1.0% to $19,695/t, nickel ended flat at $10,616/t, zinc fell 0.8% to $2,267/t and lead fell 1.6% to $1,909/t.
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