US stocks pause after five-day rally; dollar rebounds

A commuter walks on Wall Street across from the New York Stock Exchange January 10, 2019. — Reuters pic
A commuter walks on across from the New York Stock Exchange 10, 2019. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Jan 12 — Wall Street ended little changed yesterday, taking a breather following a five-day winning streak, while the dollar rebounded against most currencies from earlier losses tied to expectations the US is in no hurry to raise interest rates.

Earlier weakness in stocks and data showing a decline in US consumer prices in December stoked investor appetite for Treasuries, pushing their yields lower.

Stocks have rallied this week, helped by promises of patience from the Federal Reserve, the ECB mulling more cheap money, and progress in trade talks between Washington and Beijing.

“These risks seem more under cyontrol,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco in New York.



Earlier yesterday, retreated as investors booked profits and reset positions ahead of the earnings season.

The initial pause came in the wake of a strong start to 2019, which lifted the S&P 500 by more than 10 per cent from a 20-month low it touched around Christmas.

With big US banks kicking off the fourth-quarter reporting season next week, investors will comb through earnings reports and projections for signs of a slowdown in economic growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 5.97 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 23,995.95, the S&P 500 lost 0.38 point, or 0.01 per cent, to 2,596.26 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 14.59 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 6,971.48.

For the week, the Dow rose 2.4 per cent, the S&P 500 added 2.54 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 3.45 per cent.

The pan-European STOXX 600 benchmark was up 0.09 per cent, bringing its weekly gain to 1.7 per cent.

MSCI’s all-country index, was flat at 473.26. It posted a weekly increase to 2.9 per cent, which was its strongest such rise in six weeks.

Treasury yields fell on safe-haven buying spurred by stock losses and as data showed US consumer prices fell for the first time in nine months in December.



“There’s a bit of profit-taking in stocks so that helped to rally Treasuries,” said Larry Milstein, head of US government and agency trading at R.W. Pressprich & Co in New York.

The yields on benchmark 10-year US Treasury notes fell 3 basis points at 2.702 per cent, holding below a two-week peak reached earlier this week.

In currency markets, the dollar rose against the euro, boosted by technical factors after the euro hit key resistance levels.

The euro was down 0.32 per cent against the dollar at US$1.1463 (RM4.69), marking a weekly gain of 0.6 per cent.

’s onshore yuan finished the domestic session at 6.7482 per dollar, up 1.8 per cent this week in its biggest gain since July 2005 when Beijing abandoned the yuan’s peg to the dollar.

In commodities, oil prices declined, reducing their weekly gains tied to hopes that the United States and China may soon resolve their trade dispute.

crude settled down US$1.20 or 1.95 per cent to US$60.48 a barrel, ending the week with a 6 per cent gain.

US crude futures settled US$1 or 1.90 per cent lower at US$51.59 a barrel, resulting in a weekly gain of about 8 per cent which was the largest increase since June.



edged higher for a fourth straight week of gains on bets the Fed could soon stop raising interest rates, which boost the appeal of the non-yielding metal. Spot rose 0.09 per cent to US$1,287.5 per ounce. — Reuters

Source: The Malay Mail Online





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