All three US main indices suffer sharp weekly losses

December 24, 2018

By IFCMarkets

Nasdaq enters bear territory

US stocks ended sharply lower on Friday amid concerns looming partial government shutdown may extend over Christmas holidays as Senate disagrees with House’s bill authorizing $5 billion for Wall building. S&P 500 fell 2.1% to 2416.58, closing 7.1% lower for the week. Dow Jones industrial average lost 1.8% to 22445.37. The Nasdaq dropped 3% to 6332.99, entering bear territory. The dollar strengthening resumed after the Commerce Department report consumer prices rose by 1.9% on a year-over-year basis in November, according to the PCE index, the highest annual rate in three months. The live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, rose 0.6% to 96.99 but is lower currently. Futures on stock indexes point to higher openings today.

SP500 slumps below MA(200) 12/24/2018 Market Overview IFC Markets chart

DAX 30 gains more than other European indices

European stocks halted their slide on Friday though ending lower for the week. Both the GBP/USD and EUR/USD turned lower with both pairs higher currently. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose less than 0.1% but ended the week 3% lower. The DAX 30 gained 0.2% to 10633.82. France’s CAC 40 added 0.04% and UK’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.1% to 6721.17.

Australian stocks lead Asian indices gains

Asian stock indices are mixed today in light trading. Nikkei fell 1.1% to 20166.19 with yen resuming its climb against the dollar. Chinese stocks are mixed as traders gauge Friday’s reports Beijing will step up its efforts to support its slowing economy in 2019 through more fiscal and monetary stimulus: the Shanghai Composite Index is up 0.4% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 0.6% lower. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index rebounded 0.5% despite the Australian dollar turning higher against the greenback.

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Brent futures prices are higher today. Prices ended lower on Friday after Baker Hughes reported the number of active US rigs drilling for oil rose by 10 to 883 last week: Brent for February settlement slid 1% to close at $53.82 a barrel Friday, a 10.7% loss for the week.

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