Stocks close to flat but on track for a 3rd week of earnings; the dollar is weakening


  • S&P 500 near stop at start of New York trading
  • Evergrande avoids default with surprise interest payments
  • U.S. 10-year yields fall

NEW YORK, Oct. 22 (Reuters) – Global stock indices were mostly flat at higher on Friday, with financial stocks providing some support to the S&P 500 index early in the session, as the US dollar slipped relative to to a basket of currencies.

MSCI’s largest global equity index (.MIWD00000PUS) and the S&P 500 were both on track for a third straight week of gains.

Investors also digested the news that the China Evergrande Group (3333.HK) appeared to have avoided default by paying last-minute bond coupons, a source said on Friday. Read more

In the forex market, investors continued to offload long positions which benefited from rising expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike rates sooner than previously thought. Read more

“There is a bit of loosening in positioning. We’ve obviously seen a stronger dollar since September,” said Mazen Issa, senior currency strategist at TD Securities in New York. “It also matches the dollar’s seasonal tendency to ease through the end of the month.”

The Fed has signaled it could start cutting stimulus as early as next month, with rate hikes to follow at the end of next year.

The dollar index fell 0.17% to 93.57, and is down from a one-year high of 94.56 last week.

On Wall Street, the financial sector (.SPSY) was up 0.9%, while Intel shares (INTC.O) fell and weighed on the market. On Thursday evening, Intel announced sales that exceeded expectations. He also pointed out that chip shortages were holding back sales of its flagship processors. Read more

Next week, reports from several big names in capitalization, including Amazon (AMZN.O), and bullish investors are hoping they can track some earnings above others’ expectations so far this earnings season. Read more

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 85.49 points, or 0.24%, to 35,688.57, the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 0.42 points, or 0.01%, to 4,549.36 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) lost 72.97 points, or 0.48%, to 15,142.73.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index (.STOXX) rose 0.66% and the gauge of MSCI stocks around the world gained 0.10%.

Data on Friday showed Eurozone inflation expectations are at their highest level in years, amid a string of warnings from companies such as Nestlé (NESN.S), ABB (ABBN .S) and Unilever (ULVR.L). Read more

In the US bond market, yields on longer-dated US Treasuries declined slightly.

The 10-year Treasury bill yield fell 0.5 basis points to 1.670% after hitting a five-month high of 1.7064% on Thursday night.

US crude rose 0.57% to $ 82.97 a barrel and Brent to $ 85.08, up 0.56% on the day.

US gold futures gained 1.44% to $ 1,806.90 an ounce.

Additionally, bitcoin fell 1.15% to $ 61,503.91.

Additional reporting by Simon Jessop in London, and Karen Brettell and Herbert Lash in New York and Kevin Buckland in Tokyo Editing by Hugh Lawson and Mark Potter

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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