Weekly outlook: February 27 - March 3

Investing.com - The dollar ticked higher against a basket of the other major currencies on Friday, shrugging off disappointing U.S. home sales data as investors looked ahead to an upcoming speech by President Donald Trump.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.17% to 100.12 late Friday, leaving it up just 0.14% for the week after recovering from a one-week low of 100.64 earlier.

Data on Friday showed that U.S. new home sales rose 3.7% to an annual rate of 555,000 units last month, falling short of forecasts for a 6.3% increase to a 570,000-unit rate.

The euro ticked lower against the dollar, with EUR/USD down 0.19% to 1.0556. The euro ended the week down 0.6% against the dollar, its third straight weekly decline.

Sterling was also weaker against the dollar, with GBP/USD falling 0.76% to 1.2461.

But the dollar fell to two-week lows against the safe-haven yen amid growing doubts over the likelihood of swift tax reform from the Trump administration.

USD/JPY was down 0.4% to 112.08, the weakest level since February 9 and ended the week 0.67% lower, its second weekly loss.

On Thursday U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he wants to see "very significant" tax reform passed before Congress' August recess, but indicated that much work was still needed.

Meanwhile, Wednesday’s minutes of the Federal Reserve’s February meeting said it may be appropriate to raise rates again "fairly soon" if jobs and inflation data continues in line with current expectations.

But the minutes also noted uncertainty over a lack of clarity on Trump's economic policies and pointed to the risks to the growth outlook from the stronger dollar.

In the week ahead, global financial markets will focus on Trump's address to Congress on Tuesday for further details on his promises of tax reform, deregulation and infrastructure spending.

The week is also peppered with a handful of Fed appearances, most importantly Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday.

Investors will also be watching a revised reading of fourth-quarter U.S. growth to gauge the strength of the economy. Private sector survey data from the UK and euro zone inflation data will also be in focus.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, February 27

The U.S. is to release data on durable goods orders and pending home sales.

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan is to speak at an event in Oklahoma.

Tuesday, February 28

New Zealand is to release trade data and a report on business confidence.

The U.S. is to release revised data on fourth quarter growth and a report on consumer confidence.

San Francisco Fed President John Williams and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard are to speak.

Also Tuesday, President Donald Trump will make his first major address to Congress.

Wednesday, March 1

Australia is to release data on fourth quarter growth.

China is to release official data on manufacturing and service sector activity as well as the Caixin manufacturing index.

In the euro zone, Germany is to release preliminary inflation data and a report on unemployment change.

The U.K. is to release its manufacturing index and a report on bank lending.

The Bank of Canada is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.

The Institute of Supply Management is to report on manufacturing activity.

Dallas Fed head Kaplan and Fed Governor Lael Brainard are scheduled to speak.

Thursday, March 2

Australia is to produce data on building approvals and trade.

The U.K. is to report on construction sector output.

The euro zone is to release preliminary data on inflation.

Canada is to release its monthly report on GDP.

The U.S. is to report on initial jobless claims and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester is to speak.

Friday, March 3

Japan is to release data on inflation and household spending.

Germany is to publish figures on retail sales.

The U.K. is to report on service sector activity.

The ISM is to report on service sector activity.

Meanwhile, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, Fed Governor Jerome Powell and Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer will deliver remarks and Fed Chair Janet Yellen is to speak at an event in Chicago.

Mexico stocks lower at close of trade; IPC down 0.34%

Investing.com – Mexico stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Materials, Financial Services and Consumer Staples sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Mexico, the IPC lost 0.34%.

The best performers of the session on the IPC were Grupo LALA SA de CV (MX:LALAB), which rose 4.28% or 1.39 points to trade at 33.84 at the close. Meanwhile, Grupo Televisa SA (MX:TLVACPO) added 3.23% or 3.280 points to end at 104.690 and VOLARIS A (MX:VOLARA) was up 2.45% or 0.56 points to 23.40 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Gentera SAB de CV (MX:GENTERA), which fell 4.73% or 1.340 points to trade at 26.960 at the close. Ohl Mexico, S.A.B. De C.V. (MX:OHLMEX) declined 2.80% or 0.590 points to end at 20.470 and Gruma SAB de CV (MX:GRUMAB) was down 2.72% or 7.470 points to 267.060.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Mexico Stock Exchange by 127 to 117 and 17 ended unchanged.

Shares in Gentera SAB de CV (MX:GENTERA) fell to 52-week lows; down 4.73% or 1.340 to 26.960. Shares in Grupo Televisa SA (MX:TLVACPO) rose to 52-week highs; rising 3.23% or 3.280 to 104.690.

Gold Futures for April delivery was up 0.53% or 6.65 to $1258.05 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 0.83% or 0.45 to hit $54.00 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 1.01% or 0.57 to trade at $56.01 a barrel.

USD/MXN was up 1.31% to 19.9190, while EUR/MXN rose 1.07% to 21.0270.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.17% at 101.12.

Peru stocks lower at close of trade; S&P Lima General down 1.78%

Investing.com – Peru stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Non-Metal Minerals, Industrials and Mining sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Lima, the S&P Lima General lost 1.78% to hit a new 1-month low.

The best performers of the session on the S&P Lima General were Edegel (LM:EDE), which rose 5.71% or 0.140 points to trade at 2.590 at the close. Meanwhile, Empresa Agroindustrial Pomalca (LM:POM) added 0.59% or 0.001 points to end at 0.169 and Inretail Peru (LM:INR) was up 0.31% or 0.060 points to 19.400 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Grana Y Monter (LM:GRA), which fell 33.33% or 1.100 points to trade at 2.200 at the close. Minsur (LM:MINi) declined 3.45% or 0.050 points to end at 1.400 and Sider (LM:SID) was down 2.86% or 0.010 points to 0.340.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lima Stock Exchange by 20 to 5 and 8 ended unchanged.

Shares in Grana Y Monter (LM:GRA) fell to 52-week lows; falling 33.33% or 1.100 to 2.200.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 0.77% or 0.42 to $54.03 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.94% or 0.53 to hit $56.05 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.49% or 6.10 to trade at $1257.50 a troy ounce.

USD/PEN was up 0.17% to 3.2520, while EUR/PEN rose 0.23% to 3.4410.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.18% at 101.13.

Brazil stocks lower at close of trade; Bovespa down 1.18%

Investing.com – Brazil stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Financials, Consumption and Real Estate sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Sao Paulo, the Bovespa lost 1.18%.

The best performers of the session on the Bovespa were Metalurgica Gerdau SA (SA:GOAU4), which rose 2.63% or 0.15 points to trade at 5.86 at the close. Meanwhile, Marfrig Alimentos SA (SA:MRFG3) added 2.29% or 0.14 points to end at 6.25 and Natura Cosmeticos SA (SA:NATU3) was up 2.03% or 0.51 points to 25.62 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were EcoRodovias SA (SA:ECOR3), which fell 4.77% or 0.46 points to trade at 9.19 at the close. Lojas Renner SA (SA:LREN3) declined 3.91% or 1.04 points to end at 25.55 and Petroleo Brasileiro SA (SA:PETR3) was down 3.16% or 0.52 points to 15.96.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange by 191 to 172 and 27 ended unchanged.

The CBOE Brazil Etf Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Bovespa options, was up 5.28% to 30.09.

Gold Futures for April delivery was up 0.52% or 6.55 to $1257.95 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 0.75% or 0.41 to hit $54.04 a barrel, while the May US coffee C contract fell 2.50% or 3.75 to trade at $146.27 .

USD/BRL was up 1.67% to 3.1105, while EUR/BRL rose 1.50% to 3.2849.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.19% at 101.14.

U.S. stocks higher at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.05%

Investing.com – U.S. stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Utilities, Telecoms and Consumer Services sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.05% to hit a new all time high, while the S&P 500 index added 0.15%, and the NASDAQ Composite index climbed 0.17%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT), which rose 1.51% or 1.08 points to trade at 72.39 at the close. Meanwhile, Johnson&Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) added 1.51% or 1.83 points to end at 122.73 and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) was up 0.97% or 0.35 points to 36.53 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), which fell 1.53% or 3.84 points to trade at 247.35 at the close. JPMorgan Chase&Co (NYSE:JPM) declined 0.88% or 0.80 points to end at 90.33 and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) was down 0.86% or 0.70 points to 81.08.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Foot Locker Inc (NYSE:FL) which rose 9.38% to 75.01, Intuit Inc (NASDAQ:INTU) which was up 6.06% to settle at 128.01 and Nordstrom Inc (NYSE:JWN) which gained 5.74% to close at 46.46.

The worst performers were Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN) which was down 11.98% to 7.35 in late trade, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (NYSE:HPE) which lost 6.89% to settle at 22.96 and Range Resources Corporation (NYSE:RRC) which was down 4.49% to 27.64 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Cempra Inc (NASDAQ:CEMP) which rose 28.57% to 4.050, Applied Opt (NASDAQ:AAOI) which was up 22.71% to settle at 45.98 and Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) which gained 20.09% to close at 81.00.

The worst performers were Cumulus Media Inc (NASDAQ:CMLS) which was down 24.10% to 0.7590 in late trade, FunctionX Inc (NASDAQ:FNCX) which lost 22.48% to settle at 1.0000 and My Size Inc (NASDAQ:MYSZ) which was down 15.09% to 2.70 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1646 to 1572 and 46 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1304 fell and 1214 advanced, while 105 ended unchanged.

Shares in Intuit Inc (NASDAQ:INTU) rose to all time highs; up 6.06% or 7.31 to 128.01. Shares in Cumulus Media Inc (NASDAQ:CMLS) fell to 5-year lows; losing 24.10% or 0.2410 to 0.7590. Shares in Applied Opt (NASDAQ:AAOI) rose to all time highs; gaining 22.71% or 8.51 to 45.98. Shares in Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) rose to all time highs; rising 20.09% or 13.55 to 81.00. Shares in My Size Inc (NASDAQ:MYSZ) fell to all time lows; losing 15.09% or 0.48 to 2.70.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 1.79% to 11.50.

Gold Futures for April delivery was up 0.53% or 6.60 to $1258.00 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 0.75% or 0.41 to hit $54.04 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.97% or 0.55 to trade at $56.03 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.21% to 1.0559, while USD/JPY fell 0.43% to 112.13.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.19% at 101.14.

CFTC: Speculators More Bearish on Euro; Crude Oil Net Longs at All-time High

Investing.com - The Commodity Futures Trading Commission released its weekly Commitments of Traders report for the week ending February 21 on Friday.


Speculative positioning in the CME and ICE currency, commodity, energy and index futures:

LongShort
NetPriorChangeGrossChangeGrossChange
EUR-58.3k-46.8k-11.5k131.0k5.6k189.2k17.1k
GBP-66.4k-65.5k-0.8k38.3k-0.8k104.6k0.0k
JPY-50.2k-51.3k1.1k30.0k2.3k80.1k1.1k
CHF-8.9k-11.5k2.5k6.9k0.3k15.9k-2.2k
CAD24.6k19.3k5.2k58.8k5.6k34.2k0.4k
AUD33.5k24.2k9.3k88.8k9.5k55.2k0.2k
NZD3.2k2.9k0.3k35.3k-1.3k32.1k-1.6k
MXN-56.5k-60.2k3.7k35.1k4.9k91.6k1.1k
S&P 50030.8k57.8k-27.0k508.3k21.4k477.5k48.4k
Gold123.8k109.8k14.0k219.7k7.4k95.9k-6.6k
Silver88.0k84.8k3.2k108.8k4.1k20.8k0.9k
Copper42.8k45.2k-2.4k128.2k-3.2k85.4k-0.8k
RUB17.7k18.2k-0.5k19.2k-0.5k1.5k0.1k
Crude Oil556.6k508.5k48.2k712.7k29.5k156.1k-18.7k


Baidu shares down more than 5%

Investing.com - Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) tumbled more than 5% on Friday, despite posting fourth-quarter earnings (Q4) that beat expectations a day earlier on Thursday, Feb 23.

Baidu reported a 3% year-over-year slump in net revenue to RMB 18.21 billion, compared to the same period a year ago, as changes in regulatory law weighed on top-line performance and costs swelled, after the company made a string of investments to drive growth over the past year.

Last year, the Chinese government revised the country’s advertising laws to address issues of false and misleading advertising, as a result online platforms like Baidu have to go through mandatory regulatory approvals, which has pressured marketing revenues.

Baidu’s costs have swelled over the past several months, as the company has ramped up investment in content, bandwidth and traffic in an effort to support growth in its online video streaming platform iQiyi and transaction services businesses.

Baidu’s transaction services segment, mainly consists of its online to offline (o2o) businesses, aimed at connecting people who are searching online with local merchants.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), was highlighted as another area of interest, after the company recently hired AI expert Qu Lu as its Chief Operating Officer (COO) and plans to begin small-scale production of its driverless cars by 2018.

Baidu shares last traded at $175.80, down 4.8%.

Portugal stocks lower at close of trade; PSI 20 down 0.32%

Investing.com – Portugal stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Consumer Goods, Consumer Services and Technology sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Lisbon, the PSI 20 lost 0.32%.

The best performers of the session on the PSI 20 were Montepio (LS:MPIO), which rose 9.49% or 0.039 points to trade at 0.450 at the close. Meanwhile, Pharol SGPS SA (LS:PHRA) added 4.08% or 0.0140 points to end at 0.3570 and Sonae Capital (LS:SONAC) was up 2.40% or 0.0170 points to 0.7250 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Banco Comercial Portugues (LS:BCP), which fell 1.87% or 0.0028 points to trade at 0.1467 at the close. J. Martins SGPS (LS:JMT) declined 1.47% or 0.2250 points to end at 15.1050 and Corticeira Amorim (LS:CORA) was down 1.21% or 0.118 points to 9.650.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lisbon Stock Exchange by 20 to 15 and 4 ended unchanged.

Brent oil for April delivery was down 0.65% or 0.37 to $56.21 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 0.61% or 0.33 to hit $54.12 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.55% or 6.85 to trade at $1258.25 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.01% to 1.0580, while EUR/GBP rose 0.65% to 0.8482.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.02% at 100.97.

Dollar heads for 3-day losing streak

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar headed for a third-day of losses against major currencies on Friday, as US new home sales missed expectations while consumer confidence marginally beat analysts’ estimates.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, slipped 0.04% to 101.91 and is on course to end the trading week in negative territory.

The dollar recovered from its early morning losses, but ultimately remained under pressure, after the release of mixed U.S. economic data failed to spur a broad dollar recovery.

The Commerce Department said new home sales rose 3.7 percent to a seasonally-adjusted 555,000 units but missed analysts’ estimates of a 6.3% rise in January.

U.S. consumer sentiment remained upbeat, after The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index hit 96.3 in February, compared to expectations of 96.3.

The dollar continued to be weighed down from earlier events during the week: Wednesday’s Fed minutes, revealed a reluctance among some Fed members’ to support a raise in interest rates while uncertainty over the impact of Trump’s economic policies on economic growth remained.

Elsewhere, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday, that President Trump’s pro-growth policies, which are viewed as inflationary and a boon for the dollar, will have a limited impact in 2017.

The dollar lost ground against its Canadian counterpart, after a strong bout of Canadian inflation data, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Statistics Canada reported that the consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.9% In January, beating expectations of a 0.3% increase. USD/CAD traded 0.17% lower at $1.3083

GBP/USD retreated by more than 0.5% to $1.248 at 12:35 ET 5:35 GMT while EUR/USD gained 0.07% to trade higher at 1.058

Meanwhile, USD/JPY traded lower at $112.16, down 0.40%

Spain stocks lower at close of trade; IBEX 35 down 0.42%

Investing.com – Spain stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Financial Services&Real Estate, Consumer Goods and Building&Construction sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Madrid, the IBEX 35 declined 0.42%.

The best performers of the session on the IBEX 35 were Indra A (MC:IDR), which rose 8.97% or 0.965 points to trade at 11.725 at the close. Meanwhile, International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (MC:ICAG) added 4.13% or 0.247 points to end at 6.226 and Gamesa (MC:GAM) was up 2.99% or 0.610 points to 21.000 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Acciona (MC:ANA), which fell 2.64% or 1.920 points to trade at 70.780 at the close. Acerinox (MC:ACX) declined 1.83% or 0.245 points to end at 13.175 and Caixabank SA (MC:CABK) was down 1.77% or 0.058 points to 3.211.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Madrid Stock Exchange by 117 to 51 and 11 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for April delivery was up 0.54% or 6.75 to $1258.15 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 0.62% or 0.34 to hit $54.11 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.69% or 0.39 to trade at $56.19 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.07% to 1.0588, while EUR/GBP rose 0.66% to 0.8483.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.03% at 100.92.

Netherlands stocks lower at close of trade; AEX down 0.58%

Investing.com – Netherlands stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Industrials, Telecoms and Technology sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Amsterdam, the AEX lost 0.58%.

The best performers of the session on the AEX were KPN Kon (AS:KPN), which rose 1.47% or 0.039 points to trade at 2.694 at the close. Meanwhile, Wolters Kluwer (AS:WLSNc) added 0.66% or 0.25 points to end at 38.40 and Vopak (AS:VOPA) was up 0.46% or 0.18 points to 39.28 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Altice NV (AS:ATCA), which fell 2.54% or 0.52 points to trade at 19.94 at the close. ArcelorMittal SA (AS:ISPA) declined 1.44% or 0.121 points to end at 8.295 and ABN AMRO Group NV (AS:ABNd) was down 1.42% or 0.31 points to 21.45.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by 94 to 31 and 9 ended unchanged.

The AEX Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of AEX options, was up 1.70% to 14.42.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 0.61% or 0.33 to $54.12 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.69% or 0.39 to hit $56.19 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.56% or 6.95 to trade at $1258.35 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was up 0.06% to 1.0587, while EUR/GBP rose 0.65% to 0.8482.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.03% at 100.92.

Finland stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Helsinki 25 down 0.70%

Investing.com – Finland stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Oil&Gas, Basic Materials and Industrials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Helsinki, the OMX Helsinki 25 lost 0.70%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Helsinki 25 were Tieto Oyj (HE:TIE1V), which rose 0.61% or 0.16 points to trade at 26.27 at the close. Meanwhile, Nokia Oyj (HE:NOKIA) added 0.29% or 0.014 points to end at 4.816 and Nokian Renkaat Oyj (HE:NRE1V) was up 0.13% or 0.05 points to 37.39 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Outokumpu Oyj (HE:OUT1V), which fell 2.94% or 0.2800 points to trade at 9.2350 at the close. Konecranes Abp (HE:KCRA) declined 2.52% or 0.86 points to end at 33.33 and Cargotec Oyj (HE:CGCBV) was down 2.30% or 1.07 points to 45.51.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Helsinki Stock Exchange by 110 to 32 and 12 ended unchanged.

Shares in Nokian Renkaat Oyj (HE:NRE1V) rose to 3-years highs; rising 0.13% or 0.05 to 37.39.

Brent oil for April delivery was down 0.69% or 0.39 to $56.19 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 0.61% or 0.33 to hit $54.12 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.56% or 7.05 to trade at $1258.45 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was up 0.09% to 1.0591, while EUR/GBP rose 0.65% to 0.8482.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.06% at 100.89.

Belgium stocks lower at close of trade; BEL 20 down 0.72%

Investing.com – Belgium stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Basic Materials, Technology and Industrials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Brussels, the BEL 20 declined 0.72%.

The best performers of the session on the BEL 20 were Proximus NV (BR:PROX), which rose 1.89% or 0.53 points to trade at 28.38 at the close. Meanwhile, NV Bekaert SA (BR:BEKB) added 1.54% or 0.64 points to end at 41.80 and Ontex Group (BR:ONTEX) was up 0.10% or 0.03 points to 28.87 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Solvay SA (BR:SOLB), which fell 2.40% or 2.75 points to trade at 111.95 at the close. Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA (BR:GBLB) declined 1.62% or 1.31 points to end at 79.49 and KBC (BR:KBC) was down 1.49% or 0.860 points to 57.020.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Brussels Stock Exchange by 60 to 51 and 8 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for April delivery was up 0.53% or 6.65 to $1258.05 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 0.73% or 0.40 to hit $54.05 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.81% or 0.46 to trade at $56.12 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.10% to 1.0592, while EUR/GBP rose 0.61% to 0.8478.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.06% at 100.89.

Nigeria stocks lower at close of trade; NSE 30 down 0.80%

Investing.com – Nigeria stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Food, Beverages&Tobacco, Banking and Oil&Gas sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Lagos, the NSE 30 fell 0.80%.

The best performers of the session on the NSE 30 were Stanbicibtc Hl (LAGOS:IBTC), which rose 4.89% or 0.81 points to trade at 17.36 at the close. Meanwhile, Uacn Prop (LAGOS:UACN) added 4.83% or 0.58 points to end at 12.60 and Dangsugar (LAGOS:DANGSUG) was up 1.00% or 0.06 points to 6.06 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Nig Brew (LAGOS:NB), which fell 2.98% or 3.99 points to trade at 130.00 at the close. Guaranty Bnk (LAGOS:GUARANT) declined 2.43% or 0.60 points to end at 24.05 and Diamond Bank (LAGOS:DIAMONB) was down 2.38% or 0.020 points to 0.820.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lagos by 19 to 12 and 61 ended unchanged.

Shares in Diamond Bank (LAGOS:DIAMONB) fell to all time lows; down 2.38% or 0.020 to 0.820.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 0.83% or 0.45 to $54.00 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.90% or 0.51 to hit $56.07 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.49% or 6.15 to trade at $1257.55 a troy ounce.

EUR/NGN was down 2.35% to 324.350, while USD/NGN unchanged 0.00% to 317.000.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.03% at 100.92.

Poland stocks lower at close of trade; WIG30 down 1.84%

Investing.com – Poland stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Banking, Oil&Gas and Basic Materials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Warsaw, the WIG30 fell 1.84%.

The best performers of the session on the WIG30 were CCC SA (WA:CCCP), which rose 3.17% or 6.90 points to trade at 224.90 at the close. Meanwhile, Alior Bank SA (WA:ALRR) added 0.51% or 0.34 points to end at 66.60 and Tauron Polska Energia SA (WA:TPE) was up 0.34% or 0.010 points to 2.980 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were CD Projekt SA (WA:CDR), which fell 4.49% or 3.34 points to trade at 71.00 at the close. mBank SA (WA:MBK) declined 4.35% or 18.45 points to end at 406.05 and Grupa Lotos SA (WA:LTSP) was down 4.24% or 2.17 points to 48.95.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Warsaw Stock Exchange by 331 to 263 and 170 ended unchanged.

Shares in CCC SA (WA:CCCP) rose to all time highs; gaining 3.17% or 6.90 to 224.90.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 0.79% or 0.43 to $54.02 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.85% or 0.48 to hit $56.10 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.49% or 6.15 to trade at $1257.55 a troy ounce.

EUR/PLN was up 0.36% to 4.3168, while USD/PLN rose 0.31% to 4.0776.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.02% at 100.93.

Norway stocks lower at close of trade; Oslo OBX down 0.97%

Investing.com – Norway stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Pharma Biotech&Life Sciences, Consumer Durables And Apparel and Materials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Oslo, the Oslo OBX lost 0.97% to hit a new 1-month low.

The best performers of the session on the Oslo OBX were Schibsted ASA A (OL:SBSTA), which rose 1.84% or 4.0 points to trade at 221.5 at the close. Meanwhile, Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (OL:NWC) added 1.15% or 2.9 points to end at 254.1 and Schibsted ASA B (OL:SBSTB) was up 1.00% or 2.00 points to 202.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Norsk Hydro ASA (OL:NHY), which fell 4.02% or 1.95 points to trade at 46.50 at the close. Aker BP ASA (OL:AKERBP) declined 3.65% or 5.60 points to end at 147.80 and Seadrill Limited (OL:SDRL) was down 2.99% or 0.5 points to 16.6.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Oslo Stock Exchange by 120 to 61 and 22 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 0.81% or 0.44 to $54.01 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.88% or 0.50 to hit $56.08 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.49% or 6.15 to trade at $1257.55 a troy ounce.

EUR/NOK was down 0.01% to 8.8242, while USD/NOK fell 0.05% to 8.3346.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.03% at 100.92.

Russia stocks lower at close of trade; MICEX down 0.63%

Investing.com – Russia stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Power, Mining and Manufacturing sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Moscow, the MICEX lost 0.63% to hit a new 1-month low.

The best performers of the session on the MICEX were MegaFon OAO (MCX:MFON), which rose 4.32% or 27.90 points to trade at 673.50 at the close. Meanwhile, Polymetal International PLC (MCX:POLY) added 3.03% or 21.50 points to end at 731.00 and DIXY Group ao (MCX:DIXY) was up 1.30% or 3.40 points to 264.50 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Rosseti ao (MCX:RSTI), which fell 5.12% or 0.0564 points to trade at 1.0450 at the close. FSK EES (MCX:FEES) declined 4.44% or 0.0105 points to end at 0.2260 and Magnit (MCX:MGNT) was down 4.01% or 369.0 points to 8825.0.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Moscow Stock Exchange by 142 to 70 and 18 ended unchanged.

The Russian VIX, which measures the implied volatility of MICEX options, was down 2.74% to 24.120.

Gold Futures for April delivery was up 0.49% or 6.10 to $1257.50 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 0.77% or 0.42 to hit $54.03 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.87% or 0.49 to trade at $56.09 a barrel.

USD/RUB was up 0.60% to 58.4175, while EUR/RUB rose 1.21% to 61.816.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.03% at 100.92.

Italy stocks lower at close of trade; Investing.com Italy 40 down 1.32%

Investing.com – Italy stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Financials, Telecoms and Oil&Gas sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Milan, the Investing.com Italy 40 lost 1.32%.

The best performers of the session on the Investing.com Italy 40 were Leonardo SpA (MI:LDOF), which rose 3.81% or 0.450 points to trade at 12.250 at the close. Meanwhile, Enel (MI:ENEI) added 0.65% or 0.026 points to end at 4.000 and A2A (MI:A2) was up 0.63% or 0.008 points to 1.275 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Saipem (MI:SPMI), which fell 6.80% or 0.0307 points to trade at 0.4207 at the close. Banco Bpm (MI:BAMI) declined 6.65% or 0.154 points to end at 2.162 and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (MI:FCHA) was down 3.15% or 0.330 points to 10.150.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Milan Stock Exchange by 253 to 89 and 14 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 0.73% or 0.40 to $54.05 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.80% or 0.45 to hit $56.13 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.49% or 6.10 to trade at $1257.50 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.01% to 1.0580, while EUR/GBP rose 0.49% to 0.8468.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.04% at 100.99.

Greece stocks lower at close of trade; Athens General-Composite down 0.45%

Investing.com – Greece stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Banking, Telecoms and Travel sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Athens, the Athens General-Composite fell 0.45%.

The best performers of the session on the Athens General-Composite were Select Textile (AT:EPIr), which rose 6.82% or 0.012 points to trade at 0.188 at the close. Meanwhile, Selonda Aquaculture SA (AT:SELr) added 6.38% or 0.0090 points to end at 0.1500 and Euro Reliance (AT:EREr) was up 4.41% or 0.100 points to 2.370 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Athens Medical (AT:AMCr), which fell 6.01% or 0.036 points to trade at 0.572 at the close. AS Company SA (AT:ASCr) declined 4.51% or 0.034 points to end at 0.720 and National Bank of Greece (AT:NBGr) was down 4.17% or 0.01 points to 0.23.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Athens Stock Exchange by 52 to 52 and 27 ended unchanged.

Shares in Euro Reliance (AT:EREr) rose to 5-year highs; up 4.41% or 0.100 to 2.370.

Gold Futures for April delivery was up 0.37% or 4.60 to $1256.00 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 0.50% or 0.27 to hit $54.18 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.67% or 0.38 to trade at $56.20 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.06% to 1.0575, while EUR/GBP rose 0.39% to 0.8460.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.07% at 101.02.

U.S. stocks slip from record highs on mixed data and earnings

Investing.com – Wall Street traded lower on Friday as bulls took a breather near record highs while market participants digested a smattering of mixed economic data and retail earnings.

At 11:01AM ET (16:01GMT), the Dow Jones lost 45 points, or 0.21%, the S&P 500 fell 5 points, or 0.21%, while the Nasdaq Composite gave up 14 points, or 0.24%.

The Dow was on track to break a 10-session winning streak, its longest since 1987, and investors took profits in the S&P 500 with the global benchmark index up more than 10% since the U.S. election last November.

Economic data gave mixed readings with new home sales rising less than expected in January.

However, the University of Michigan revised its consumer sentiment index up higher than forecast, although it was the first monthly decrease since the elections as the report indicated that Democrats expect a recession while Republicans foresee robust growth.

Investors are hoping that President Trump will provide more details on his tax reform plan when he addresses a joint session of Congress next Tuesday.

As fourth quarter earnings season finally nears its end in a week awash with numbers from retailers, results priced in on Friday were also mixed.

On the upside, Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) soared nearly 8% after reporting earnings-per-share of $1.37, beating consensus by five cents.

However, JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) saw shares tumble more than 8% after the department store chain saw a drop in comparable sales.

Meanwhile, oil prices slipped on Friday on profit-taking after official data released a day earlier showed stockpiles rose last week for a seventh straight week and while investors looked ahead to the latest reading on U.S. drilling activity from Baker Hughes.

The oil field services provider said last week the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by six, the fifth weekly increase in a row. That brought the total count to 597, the most since November 2015.

U.S. crude futures lost 0.62% to $54.11 by 11:03AM ET (16:03GMT), while Brent oil traded down 0.83% to $56.11.

Dollar index pares losses after U.S. data

Investing.com - The dollar pared losses against other major currencies on Friday, after the release of mixed U.S. economic reports, while the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting still dampened demand for the greenback.

EUR/USD was steady at 1.0585, off session highs of 1.0618.

The U.S. Commerce Department said new home sales rose by 3.7% to 555,000 units in January from the prior month’s revised reading of 535,000. Analysts had expected a 6.3% increase to 570,000 units last month.

Separately, the University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index hit 96.3 in February, up from an initial estimate of 95.7 and compared to expectations for a reading of 96.0.

Late Wednesday, the minutes of the Fed’s January policy meeting showed that policymakers thought it may be appropriate to raise interest rates again "fairly soon."

However, the minutes also revealed the central bank’s uncertainty over the lack of clarity of the Trump administration's economic program, dampening demand for the greenback.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD dropped 0.52% to 1.2490, off a more than two-week high of 1.2571 hit earlier in the day.

USD/JPY fell 0.27% to 112.31, while USD/CHF edged down 0.10% to 1.0052.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.38% at 0.7685 and with NZD/USD shedding 0.29% to 0.7208.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD was little changed at 1.3096.

The loonie initially strengthened after Statistics Canada reported that the consumer price index rose 0.9% last month, beating expectations for an uptick of 0.3% and after a 0.2% fall in December.

Year-on-year, consumer prices advanced 2.1% last month, compared to expectations for a 1.6% rise.

Core CPI, which excludes the eight most volatile items, gained 0.5% in January, compared to expectations for a 0.1% slip.

But the commodity-related Canadian dollar’s gains were limited as oil prices turned lower on Friday, weighed by a rise in U.S. crude inventories last week.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was little changed at 100.97, off a one-week trough of 100.64 hit earlier in the session.

U.S. new home sales rise less than expected

Investing.com - U.S. new home sales rose less than expected in January, although they recovered from a sharp drop at the end of 2016, official data showed on Friday.

In a report, the U.S. Commerce Department said new home sales rose by 3.7% to a seasonally adjusted 555,000 units in January from the prior month’s revised reading of 535,000 (initially 536,000).

Analysts had expected a 6.3% increase from the previous month’s initial reading to a total of 570,000 units in January.

Immediately following the report, which was released simultaneously with the revision to the February Michigan consumer sentiment, EUR/USD traded at 1.0576, compared to 1.0571 before the data, GBP/USD was at 1.2516 from 1.2505 earlier, while USD/JPY was at 112.32, compared to the prior 112.44.

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was at 100.97, compared to 101.06 ahead of the report.

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks were trading lower after the open as the Dow 30 fell 32 points, or 0.16%, the S&P 500 lost 6 points, or 0.24% , while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite traded down 19 points, or 0.32%.

Elsewhere, in the commodities market, gold futures traded at $1,256.05 a troy ounce, compared to $1,253.55 ahead of the data, while crude oil traded at $54.21 a barrel from $54.01 earlier.

U.S. UoM consumer sentiment 96.3 vs. 96.0 forecast

U.S. UoM consumer sentiment rose more-than-expected last month, data showed on Friday.

In a report, the University of Michigan said that consumer sentiment rose to a seasonally adjusted 96.3, from 95.7 in the preceding month.

Analysts had expected UoM consumer sentiment to rise to 96.0 last month.

Barclays slashes 2018 oil forecast by $10 but remains bullish

Investing.com – Barclays (LON:BARC) cut their forecast for Brent prices at the end of 2018 on Friday, but insisted they remained bullish with their outlook for crude.

Specifically, these analysts reduced their estimate for the London barrel to $67 from $77 previously.

“We maintain our bullish stance, as that price is still over $10 higher than the futures curve,” they explained.

They also left their average price forecast for 2017 unchanged at $57, while noting that their second quarter forecast was for $62.

These analysts acknowledge what they called a “game of musical chairs” as U.S. shale producers ramp up production and other output disruptions get resolved.

“Assuming that OPEC’s cuts are not extended in their current form, 2018 is likely to feature higher levels of volatility as stocks continue to draw and as OPEC spare capacity decreases,” they said.

The British banks forecast for West Texas Intermediate oil is $56 for 2017 and $65 for 2018.

Canadian core CPI 0.5% vs. -0.1% forecast

Canadian core consumer price inflation rose unexpectedly last month, official data showed on Friday.

In a report, Statistics Canada said that Canadian core CPI rose to a seasonally adjusted 0.5%, from -0.3% in the preceding month.

Analysts had expected Canadian core CPI to fall -0.1% last month.

Indonesia stocks higher at close of trade; IDX Composite Index up 0.24%

Investing.com – Indonesia stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Miscellaneous Industry, Basic Industry and Manufacturing sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Jakarta, the IDX Composite Index gained 0.24%.

The best performers of the session on the IDX Composite Index were Verena Multi Finance Tbk (JK:VRNA), which rose 23.16% or 22 points to trade at 117 at the close. Meanwhile, Nusa Konstruksi Enjiniring Tbk (JK:DGIK) added 18.60% or 24 points to end at 153 and Jaya Agra Wattie Tbk (JK:JAWA) was up 12.03% or 16 points to 149 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Trada Maritime Tbk (JK:TRAM), which fell 34.21% or 65 points to trade at 125 at the close. Island Concepts Indonesia Tbk (JK:ICON) declined 23.89% or 118 points to end at 376 and Kokoh Inti Arebama Tbk (JK:KOIN) was down 21.88% or 70 points to 250.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Jakarta Stock Exchange by 150 to 150 and 114 ended unchanged.

Shares in Nusa Konstruksi Enjiniring Tbk (JK:DGIK) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 18.60% or 24 to 153.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 0.44% or 0.24 to $54.21 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.42% or 0.24 to hit $56.34 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.40% or 4.95 to trade at $1256.35 a troy ounce.

USD/IDR was down 0.16% to 13326.0, while AUD/IDR fell 0.50% to 10247.50.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.09% at 100.86.

Global stocks mixed to lower, dollar flat

Investing,com - Asia mixed to lower. Nikkei 225 off 0.45%. Yen slightly lower vs. the dollar.
Europe mostly lower. DAX off 0.29%. FTSE 100 down 0.21%. (LON:RBS) off 1.52% after 2016 loss.
U.S. stock index futures edge lower. DJI posts 10th straight record close.
Dollar index flat as Fed minutes, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin comments mulled.
Oil lower ahead of Baker Hughes rig count data.
Gold higher. U.S. Treasury yields lower.

Bitcoin hits record high on ETF approval speculation

Investing.com – The bitcoin hit a new record high on Friday on the back of speculation that the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) could approve a U.S.-issued ETF on the digital currency, perhaps increasing its attractiveness for institutional investors.

According to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, which averages prices from the major exchanges, prices of the crypto-currency reached an intraday high of $1,206.60. That pushed the bitcoin past the prior all-time record of $1,165.89 set in November 2013.

It was last up only 0.33% at $1,182.25 by 4:18AM ET (9:18GMT).

On the New York-based itBit exchange, bitcoin inched up by 0.03% to $1,187.82, pulling back from an intraday high of $1,215.93.

Other big exchanges such as Bitfinex, Kraken and BitStamp showed mixed trade in the cryptocurrency.

The digital currency reached record highs on speculation that pointed to the fact that the SEC would approve at least one of the three proposed bitcoin-focused exchange-traded funds by an upcoming deadline.

The SEC will decide by March 11 whether to approve one filed almost four years ago by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. If approved, it would be the first bitcoin ETF issued and regulated by a U.S. entity.

Hopes are that the SEC regulation would not only backstop confidence in the digital currency, encouraging institutional investors to place money in the asset, but that those institutions would provide a bit of stability to trades.

According to Reuters, over the past year, bitcoin's biggest daily moves have been about 10% in a mark of extreme volatility when compared to other currencies.

Prices of the virtual currency are up more than 17% so far this year.

Bitcoin is digital cash and is not backed by a government or central bank to regulate or issue it. It can be used to purchase goods and services from stores and online retailers.

European stocks slip lower amid political uncertainty; DAX down 0.27%

Investing.com - European stocks were lower on Friday, as investors continued to focus on daily corporate earnings reports amid ongoing political uncertainty in Europe and the U.S.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 dipped 0.07%, France’s CAC 40 fell 0.25%, while Germany’s DAX 30 slipped 0.27%.

Markets were jittery after French centrist Francois Bayrou said on Wednesday that he was offering an alliance with independent candidate Emmanuel Macron in May's presidential election, who was expected to unveil the key figures of his proposed economic plan later Friday.

The move could hinder far-right candidate Marine Le Pen's chances of winning.

Investors were also looking ahead to an address by U.S. President Donald Trump to Congress next week for further clarity on his economic policy.

Financial stocks were broadly lower, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) declined 0.76% and 0.83%, while Germany’s Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) and Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) retreated 0.56% and 0.63%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy’s Unicredit (MI:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) slid 0.48% and 0.66% respectively. Spanish banks BBVA (MC:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MC:SAN) overpeformed, with shares up 0.16% and 0.51%.

Elsewhere, Safran (PA:SAF) SA slipped 0.20% even after the French aerospace supplier said its full-year profit increased by 21.7%, helped by strong demand for the commercial airliners it equips.

In London, FTSE 100 eased 0.09%, weighed by Micro Focus International (LON:MCRO), whose shares plummeted 2.46% after the software company reconfirmed expectations that revenue in the fiscal year ending April 30 will range from 2% lower to flat compared with the previous year.

Financial stocks added to losses, as HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) dipped 0.06% and Barclays (LON:BARC) fell 0.22%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) tumbled 1.93% after reporting a £7 billion annual loss.

Lloyds Banking (LON:LLOY) overperformed however, with shares adding 0.17%.

In the mining sector, stocks were mixed. Shares in Glencore (LON:GLEN) slipped 0.27% and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) declined 0.97%, while Fresnillo (LON:FRES) rallied 2.02%.

In earnings news, Pearson (LON:PSON) Plc reported a wider full-year net loss, weighed by declines in the U.K. and U.S. education markets. The news sent shares down 1.70%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.11% fall, S&P 500 futures showed a 0.15% loss, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.21% slide.

Dollar flat, set for weekly losses after Fed minutes

Investing.com - The dollar was flat Friday and looked poised to post losses for the week after the latest Fed meeting minutes.
The dollar index was off 0.10% at 100.85 at 03:15 ET. The euro edged higher to just below $1.06.
The FOMC February minutes were more dovish than many in the market had expected.
The market is waiting for further details on the Trump administration's plans for tax reform.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday he wanted major reforms passed by Congress by August.
Investors are looking to consumer sentiment and new home sales data due later in the session.
The dollar recovered some ground against the yen. It was up 0.04% at 112.66 yen after hitting two-week lows overnight.

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