Israel stocks higher at close of trade; TA 35 up 0.69%

Investing.com – Israel stocks were higher after the close on Sunday, as gains in the Biomed, Technology and Insurance sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Tel Aviv, the TA 35 added 0.69%.

The best performers of the session on the TA 35 were OPKO Health Inc (TA:OPK), which rose 4.51% or 104 points to trade at 2410 at the close. Meanwhile, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TA:TEVA) added 2.48% or 126 points to end at 5210 and Paz Oil (TA:PZOL) was up 2.23% or 1280 points to 58620 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were ICL Israel Chemicals Ltd (TA:ICL), which fell 0.82% or 12 points to trade at 1453 at the close. Perrigo (TA:PRGO) declined 0.65% or 200 points to end at 30360 and Strauss Group (TA:STRS) was down 0.60% or 42 points to 6901.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by 263 to 124 and 20 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for December delivery was unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to $51.84 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in December rose 1.17% or 0.67 to hit $57.90 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract fell 0.59% or 7.58 to trade at $1282.42 a troy ounce.

USD/ILS was up 0.01% to 3.4916, while EUR/ILS fell 0.62% to 4.1130.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.61% at 93.57.

Saudi Arabia stocks lower at close of trade; Tadawul All Share down 0.52%

Investing.com – Saudi Arabia stocks were lower after the close on Sunday, as losses in the Insurance, Hotels&Tourism and Multi Investment sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul All Share lost 0.52%.

The best performers of the session on the Tadawul All Share were ACE ARABIA COOPERATIVE INSURANCE (SE:8240), which rose 9.88% or 2.58 points to trade at 28.70 at the close. Meanwhile, Dar Alarkan Real Estate Development (SE:4300) added 4.34% or 0.30 points to end at 7.21 and Saudi Arabian Amiantit Co. (SE:2160) was up 3.77% or 0.25 points to 6.88 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Salama Cooperative Insurance Co (SE:8050), which fell 3.89% or 1.01 points to trade at 24.96 at the close. The Company for Coop. Insurance (SE:8010) declined 3.54% or 3.44 points to end at 93.60 and Tabuk Cement Co. (SE:3090) was down 2.29% or 0.24 points to 10.26.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Saudi Arabia Stock Exchange by 119 to 50 and 8 ended unchanged.

Shares in Dar Alarkan Real Estate Development (SE:4300) rose to 52-week highs; up 4.34% or 0.30 to 7.21.

Crude oil for December delivery was unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to $51.84 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in December rose 1.17% or 0.67 to hit $57.90 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract fell 0.59% or 7.58 to trade at $1282.42 a troy ounce.

EUR/SAR was down 0.63% to 4.4179, while USD/SAR rose 0.01% to 3.7506.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.61% at 93.57.

United Arab Emirates stocks lower at close of trade; DFM General down 0.79%

Investing.com – United Arab Emirates stocks were lower after the close on Sunday, as losses in the Transport, Consumer Staples and Real Estate&Construction sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Dubai, the DFM General fell 0.79%, while the ADX General index lost 0.16%.

The best performers of the session on the DFM General were Dubai National Insurance (DU:DNIN), which rose 4.65% or 0.140 points to trade at 3.150 at the close. Meanwhile, National Central Cooling Co. (DU:TABR) added 1.43% or 0.030 points to end at 2.130 and Marka Pjse (DU:MARKA) was up 1.19% or 0.01 points to 0.68 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Commercial Bank of Dubai P.S.C. (DU:CBD), which fell 2.50% or 0.100 points to trade at 3.900 at the close. Gulf Navigation Holding PJSC (DU:GNAV) declined 2.10% or 0.030 points to end at 1.400 and Emaar Properties PJSC (DU:EMAR) was down 2.06% or 0.180 points to 8.570.

The top performers on the ADX General were Union Cement (AD:UCC) which rose 10.32% to 1.390, Abu Dhabi National for Building Materials Co PJSC (AD:BILD) which was up 4.26% to settle at 0.490 and Methaq (AD:METH) which gained 2.38% to close at 0.860.

The worst performers were Invest Bank AD (AD:INVB) which was down 8.33% to 2.200 in late trade, Ad Shipbldg Co (AD:ADSB) which lost 5.06% to settle at 2.250 and Rak Cement Co (AD:RKCC) which was down 3.95% to 0.730 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Dubai Stock Exchange by 20 to 12 and 8 ended unchanged; on the Abu Dhabi, 9 fell and 8 advanced, while 7 ended unchanged.

Shares in Dubai National Insurance (DU:DNIN) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 4.65% or 0.140 to 3.150. Shares in Commercial Bank of Dubai P.S.C. (DU:CBD) fell to 3-years lows; down 2.50% or 0.100 to 3.900. Shares in Union Cement (AD:UCC) rose to 52-week highs; rising 10.32% or 0.130 to 1.390.

Crude oil for December delivery was unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to $51.84 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in December rose 1.17% or 0.67 to hit $57.90 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract fell 0.59% or 7.58 to trade at $1282.42 a troy ounce.

USD/AED was unchanged 0.00% to 3.6729, while EUR/AED fell 0.63% to 4.3267.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.61% at 93.57.

Gold / Silver / Copper Prices - Weekly Outlook: October 23 - 27

Investing.com - Gold prices fell on Friday, pressured lower by the stronger U.S. dollar which was boosted after President Donald Trump's plans to overhaul the tax code cleared a critical hurdle.

Gold futures for December delivery settled down 0.59% at $1,282.42 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, the precious metal was down 1.86%, which means it has fallen in five of the past six weeks.

The dollar rose on Friday, making gold more expensive for holders of other currencies, after Senate Republicans approved a budget measure that will allow them to pursue tax cuts without support from the Democratic Party.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.61% at 93.57 in late trade. It was its largest one day gain since October 2.

The index ended the week up 0.69%, its fifth weekly increase in six weeks.

Investors expect a fiscal boost to push up inflation, adding pressure on the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, known as the "Trumpflation" trade.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.

But Republicans have yet to produce a tax reform bill amid divisions over what cuts to make and how to pay for them and analysts have warned that the White House still faces a long battle to push through its agenda.

Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver was down 1.21% at $17.04 a troy ounce late Friday, bringing its weekly decline to 2.22%, while platinum settled at $926.00.

Among base metals, copper pared early gains and closed at $3.169 a pound. The industrial metal was still up 1.03% for the week after Monday’s rally to three-year highs on the back of upbeat Chinese economic data. The country accounts for almost half the world’s copper consumption.

In the week ahead, investors will be watching the European Central Bank meeting for further details on plans to scale back its massive stimulus program.

Markets will keep an eye on a preliminary reading of third-quarter U.S. growth to further assess the impact of recent hurricanes on economic activity and how it could affect the Federal Reserve’s view on monetary policy.

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

Monday, October 23

Canada is to release data on wholesale sales.

Tuesday, October 24

The euro zone is to release data on manufacturing and service sector activity.

Wednesday, October 25

Australia is to release data on inflation.

The Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.

The UK is to release a preliminary estimate of third quarter growth.

The U.S. is to release reports on durable goods orders and new home sales.

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 announcement is to be followed by a press conference.

Thursday, October 26

New Zealand is to publish trade data.

The ECB is to announce its latest monetary policy decision. The announcement is to be followed by a press conference with President Mario Draghi.

The U.S. is to report on initial jobless claims and pending home sales.

Friday, October 27

Japan is to release its latest inflation figures.

The U.S. is to round up the week with preliminary data on third quarter growth.

Crude Oil Prices - Weekly Outlook: October 23 - 27

Investing.com - Oil prices settled higher in see-saw trade on Friday, as political tensions in the Kurdistan region continued to disrupt crude supplies.

Oil exports from Iraq's Kurdistan towards the Turkish port of Ceyhan were flowing at average rates of 216,000 barrels per day versus the usual flows of 600,000 bpd, a shipping source said.

The supply disruption in Iraq comes amid ongoing political uncertainty in the region following conflict between Iraqi and Kurdish forces. Iraqi troops marched toward Northern Iraq earlier in week and regained control of two major oilfields from Kurdish forces.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., investors mulled over data showing oil drilling activity fell for a third week in a row, extending a two-month drilling decline.

Oilfield services firm Baker Hughes said Friday that its weekly count of oil rigs operating in the United States fell by seven to 736, the lowest level since June.

The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for domestic oil production.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures tacked on 33 cents, or around 0.6%, to end at $51.84 a barrel by close of trade. For the week, WTI prices rose about 0.8%, the second-straight weekly gain.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., added 52 cents, or roughly 0.9%, to settle at $57.75 a barrel.

The global benchmark ended the week with an increase of approximately 1%, supported by growing indications that the market was starting to rebalance.

In a speech Thursday, Mohammad Barkindo, secretary-general at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, said that the oil market is balancing at an “accelerated pace,” and demand will continue to rapidly grow in coming decades.

Despite the bullish signals, analysts warned that OPEC needs to extend its agreement to reduce oil output beyond its current March 2018 expiry date in order to rebalance the market.

The original deal, struck nearly a year ago between OPEC and 10 other non-OPEC countries led by Russia, was to cut production by 1.8 million barrels a day for six months. The agreement was extended in May of this year for a period of nine months until March 2018 in a bid to reduce global oil inventories and support oil prices.

The cartel's next meeting is set for November 30 in Vienna.

In other energy trading Friday, gasoline futures advanced 3.3 cents, or 2%, to end at $1.678 on Friday. It closed up around 3.5% for the week.

Heating oil rose 2.8 cents, or 1.6%, at $1.805 a gallon, ending roughly 0.5% higher for the week.

Natural gas futures inched up 4.2 cents, or 1.5%, to settle at $2.915 per million British thermal units, paring the contract’s weekly loss to 2.8%.

In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.

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

Tuesday, October 24

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.

Wednesday, October 25

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.

Thursday, October 26

The U.S. government is set to produce a weekly report on natural gas supplies in storage.

Friday, October 27

Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

CFTC: Speculators Less Bullish on Euro, Australian Dollar; More Bullish on S&P 500, Precious Metals

Investing.com - The Commodity Futures Trading Commission released its weekly Commitments of Traders report for the week ending October 17 on Friday.


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

LongShort
NetPriorChangeGrossChangeGrossChange
EUR90.5k98.1k-7.6k186.8k-9.1k96.3k-1.4k
GBP5.0k15.5k-10.5k72.9k-6.7k67.8k3.7k
JPY-101.3k-101.4k0.1k55.0k3.4k156.3k3.2k
CHF-4.9k-4.3k-0.7k22.2k4.0k27.1k4.6k
CAD75.1k76.4k-1.3k94.5k-2.6k19.4k-1.3k
AUD61.8k69.2k-7.4k85.8k-7.9k24.0k-0.6k
NZD7.0k5.7k1.2k20.4k-1.1k13.4k-2.4k
MXN71.1k82.7k-11.7k98.9k-3.5k27.9k8.1k
S&P 500161.9k140.5k21.4k572.9k0.7k411.0k-20.7k
Gold200.7k200.1k0.6k284.6k5.4k83.9k4.8k
Silver63.9k59.1k4.8k94.8k2.6k30.9k-2.2k
Copper51.5k40.7k10.7k156.0k7.9k104.5k-2.8k
RUB14.3k13.9k0.4k24.8k2.8k10.5k2.4k
Crude Oil429.5k417.1k12.5k701.9k16.6k272.4k4.2k


Brazil stocks higher at close of trade; Bovespa up 0.14%

Investing.com – Brazil stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Basic Materials, Financials and Public Utilities sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Sao Paulo, the Bovespa rose 0.14%.

The best performers of the session on the Bovespa were Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (SA:ELET6), which rose 5.93% or 1.43 points to trade at 25.55 at the close. Meanwhile, Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA (SA:ELET3) added 5.40% or 1.11 points to end at 21.66 and Suzano Papel e Celulose SA (SA:SUZB5) was up 3.78% or 0.73 points to 20.04 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Equatorial Energia SA (SA:EQTL3), which fell 2.58% or 1.63 points to trade at 61.52 at the close. Raia Drogasil SA (SA:RADL3) declined 1.76% or 1.37 points to end at 76.41 and Ambev SA (SA:ABEV3) was down 1.37% or 0.30 points to 21.53.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the BM&FBovespa Stock Exchange by 188 to 181 and 37 ended unchanged.

The CBOE Brazil Etf Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Bovespa options, was down 0.29% to 27.97.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 0.59% or 7.58 to $1282.42 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 0.80% or 0.41 to hit $51.70 a barrel, while the December US coffee C contract fell 1.31% or 1.66 to trade at $125.17 .

USD/BRL was up 0.80% to 3.1924, while EUR/BRL rose 0.17% to 3.7608.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.61% at 93.57.

Top 5 Things that Moved Markets this Past Week

Investing.com – Take a peek at the top 5 things that rocked U.S. markets this week.

Dow Jones hit 23,000 for the first time ever

With earnings season well underway, investors piled into U.S. equities on expectations of bullish earnings from corporates which lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average to an unprecedented level of 23,000.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX), International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) were a few of the notable companies that reported better-than-expected earnings as the latter enjoyed its biggest one-day gain since 2009 on Wednesday.

Adding to positive sentiment on Wall Street were signs of progress on tax reform after the Senate approved the Republican-back budget on Thursday – a crucial step forward for tax reform – allowing Republicans to move ahead with tax cuts without support from Democrats.

Story of soft inflation continued

The trend of slowing inflation showed no sign of abating as wage growth and inflation remained sluggish, a Federal Reserve survey showed on Wednesday.

The central bank’s Beige Book economic report, based on anecdotal information collected by the Fed’s 12 reserve banks through October 6, showed continued weakness in wage growth while price pressures remained moderate, dampening expectations that a tight labor market would spur a rebound in inflation.

The most recent reading of the Core Price Consumer Expenditure (PCE) Index – the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation – retreated to 1.3% in September year-on-year.

That is well below the Fed's 2% inflation target.

Powell powered ahead in race to replace Yellen

The dollar fell sharply earlier this week, pressured by a drop in bond yields after a report suggested that Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell is leading the race to succeed Janet Yellen as next Fed Chairman.

Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell is the front runner to become the chair of the U.S. central bank after President Donald Trump concluded a series of meetings with five finalists on earlier this week, three administration officials said, according a Politico report published on Thursday.

The slump in the dollar, however, was short lived as investors turned attention to signs of progress on tax reform, widely expected to provide a fiscal boost to the economy.

Crude oil prices survived volatile week

Crude oil prices settled higher on Friday as expectations of continued supply disruption in Iraq amid political instability in the region supported upside momentum offsetting concerns over rising gasoline and diesel supplies.

Oil exports from Iraq's Kurdistan towards the Turkish port of Ceyhan were flowing at average rates on Friday of 216,000 barrels per day versus the usual flows of 600,000 bpd, according to a report from Reuters citing a shipping source.

The supply disruption in Iraq comes amid ongoing political uncertainty in Kurdistan after Iraqi troops regained control of two major oilfields from Kurdish forces earlier this week.

In the U.S., meanwhile, gasoline stockpiles rose for a fourth straight week while supplies of distillates - the class of fuels that includes diesel and heating oil – increased for the first time since August, the Energy Information Agency said on Wednesday.

Crude oil futures notched a weekly win, settling at $51.47 a barrel.

Investors fled gold

Renewed hopes for tax reform boosted the dollar, forcing traders to abandon their bullish bets on gold, as the precious metal fell to a weekly loss.

Net bullish bets on gold fell to 200,100, according to a report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday.

Eurozone geopolitical uncertainty, however, stemmed losses in gold after Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy vowed to return Catalonia to the rule of law on Friday, a day after he confirmed that article 155 of the Spanish constitution would be invoked.

Article 155, often described as the “nuclear option”, allows the government to suspend Catalonia's political autonomy.

Gold prices traded at $1,282.60, down 0.58% on Friday.

Mexico stocks lower at close of trade; IPC down 0.06%

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

At the close in Mexico, the IPC lost 0.06%.

The best performers of the session on the IPC were America Movil SAB de CV (MX:AMXL), which rose 3.83% or 0.670 points to trade at 18.180 at the close. Meanwhile, Grupo Televisa SAB Unit (MX:TLVACPO) added 1.49% or 1.33 points to end at 90.52 and Coca Cola Femsa SAB De CV (MX:KOFL) was up 1.32% or 1.77 points to 135.54 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were El Puerto De Liverpool Sab De CV (MX:LIVEPOLC1), which fell 3.08% or 4.32 points to trade at 135.88 at the close. Banregio Grupo Financiero SAB De CV (MX:GFREGIOO) declined 2.88% or 3.02 points to end at 102.00 and Gentera SAB de CV (MX:GENTERA) was down 2.61% or 0.640 points to 23.920.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Mexico Stock Exchange by 153 to 85 and 8 ended unchanged.

Shares in America Movil SAB de CV (MX:AMXL) rose to 5-year highs; gaining 3.83% or 0.670 to 18.180.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 0.50% or 6.45 to $1283.55 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 0.80% or 0.41 to hit $51.70 a barrel, while the December Brent oil contract rose 1.07% or 0.61 to trade at $57.84 a barrel.

USD/MXN was up 0.97% to 18.9856, while EUR/MXN rose 0.34% to 22.3641.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.61% at 93.57.

Canada stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/TSX Composite up 0.25%

Investing.com – Canada stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Healthcare, IT and Consumer Discretionary sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite gained 0.25% to hit a new 6-months high.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/TSX Composite were Canopy Growth Corp (TO:WEED), which rose 7.95% or 0.940 points to trade at 12.760 at the close. Meanwhile, Shopify Inc (TO:SHOP) added 5.15% or 6.320 points to end at 129.030 and IGM Financial Inc . (TO:IGM) was up 4.33% or 1.89 points to 45.50 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Klondex Mines Ltd (TO:KDX), which fell 7.73% or 0.340 points to trade at 4.060 at the close. Trican Well Service Ltd . (TO:TCW) declined 3.57% or 0.160 points to end at 4.320 and Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc . (TO:ENF) was down 3.17% or 0.99 points to 30.20.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Toronto Stock Exchange by 669 to 427 and 142 ended unchanged.

Shares in IGM Financial Inc. (TO:IGM) rose to 52-week highs; up 4.33% or 1.89 to 45.50. Shares in Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc. (TO:ENF) fell to 52-week lows; falling 3.17% or 0.99 to 30.20.

The S&P/TSX 60 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/TSX Composite options, was down 16.64% to 10.92.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 0.50% or 6.44 to $1283.56 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 0.80% or 0.41 to hit $51.70 a barrel, while the December Brent oil contract rose 1.08% or 0.62 to trade at $57.85 a barrel.

CAD/USD was down 1.09% to 0.7922, while CAD/EUR fell 0.47% to 0.6726.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.61% at 93.57.

Colombia stocks lower at close of trade; COLCAP down 0.11%

Investing.com – Colombia stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Industrials, Investment and Financials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Colombia, the COLCAP lost 0.11%.

The best performers of the session on the COLCAP were Empresa de Energia de Bogota SA ESP (CN:EEB), which rose 1.24% or 25.0 points to trade at 2035.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Corporacion Financiera Colombiana SA (CN:CFV) added 0.62% or 180.0 points to end at 29080.0 and Banco Davivienda Pf (CN:DVI_p) was up 0.56% or 180.0 points to 32520.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Canacol Energy Ltd (CN:CNE), which fell 0.95% or 90.0 points to trade at 9380.0 at the close. Cemargos (CN:CCB) declined 0.70% or 80.0 points to end at 11420.0 and Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana SA (CN:SIS) was down 0.63% or 260.0 points to 41100.0.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Colombia Stock Exchange by 15 to 10 and 4 ended unchanged.

Shares in Empresa de Energia de Bogota SA ESP (CN:EEB) rose to all time highs; up 1.24% or 25.0 to 2035.0.

US coffee C for December delivery was down 1.31% or 1.66 to $125.17 . Elsewhere in commodities trading, US cocoa for delivery in December fell 0.93% or 20.00 to hit $2127.00 , while the December Gold Futures contract fell 0.49% or 6.35 to trade at $1283.65 a troy ounce.

USD/COP was up 0.61% to 2936.76, while BRL/COP fell 0.22% to 919.61.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.61% at 93.57.

Crude Oil Prices Settle Higher as Middle East Tensions Disrupt Supply

Investing.com – Crude oil prices settled higher on Friday as political tensions in the Kurdistan region continued to disrupt crude supplies offsetting signs of wavering U.S. demand.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for November delivery rose 18 cents to settle at $51.47 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent added 33 cents to trade at $57.56 a barrel.

In what was a volatile session, crude oil prices struggled for direction as investors weighed the impact of falling domestic demand against supply disruptions in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

Oil exports from Iraq's Kurdistan towards the Turkish port of Ceyhan were flowing at average rates on Friday of 216,000 barrels per day versus the usual flows of 600,000 bpd, according to a report from Reuters citing a shipping source.

The supply disruption in Iraq comes amid ongoing political uncertainty in the region following conflict between Iraqi and Kurdish forces. Iraqi troops marched toward Northern Iraq earlier this week and regained control of two major oilfields from Kurdish forces.

In the U.S., meanwhile, investors mulled over data showing oil drilling activity declines continued to decline as the number of oil rigs slumped for the third-straight week.

U.S., oilfield services firm Baker Hughes said Friday its weekly count of oil rigs operating in the United States fell by 7 to 736.

The weekly rig count is an important barometer for the drilling industry and serves as a proxy for oil production and oil services demand.

Gold Prices Near Session Lows as Dollar Edges Higher

Investing.com – Gold prices fell on Friday amid a sharp rise in the dollar on growing expectations of tax reform after the Senate approved the Republican-backed budget.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $7.64, or 0.60%, to $1,282.28 a troy ounce.

Gold prices struggled to pare losses as sentiment on the dollar turned positive on signs of tax reform bolstered investor expectations of a fiscal lift to the economy amid housing data that topped forecasts.

The Senate approved the Republican-back budget on Thursday, a crucial step forward for tax reform, allowing Republicans to move ahead with tax cuts without support from Democrats.

Tax reform is widely expected to have an inflationary impact on the economy boosted the greenback, lowering demand for dollar denominated commodities such as gold.

Also weighing on gold prices were signs of improvement in economy the after existing home sales rose 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million units last month, The National Association of Realtors said on Friday.

Some analysts warned gold prices could come under increased pressure as the precious metal is likely to test key support levels.

"We seem to once again be ready to test technical support around $1,275-$1,270," said Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler. "If we look at the chart, it's a classic head and shoulders pattern here and the danger is we'll break lower to a level at $1,250 or even below."

In other metals trading, silver futures fell 1.14% to $17.06 while platinum futures added 0.02% to $926.

Natural gas rose by 1.67% to $2.92, while Copper traded at $3.17, down 0.02%.

Portugal stocks lower at close of trade; PSI 20 down 0.16%

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

At the close in Lisbon, the PSI 20 declined 0.16%.

The best performers of the session on the PSI 20 were Mota Engil (LS:MOTA), which rose 1.54% or 0.0500 points to trade at 3.3000 at the close. Meanwhile, Altri SGPS (LS:ALSS) added 1.32% or 0.0710 points to end at 5.4510 and Banco Comercial Portugues (LS:BCP) was up 0.90% or 0.0023 points to 0.2592 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Pharol SGPS SA (LS:PHRA), which fell 2.60% or 0.0120 points to trade at 0.4500 at the close. Corticeira Amorim (LS:CORA) declined 1.28% or 0.150 points to end at 11.570 and EDP Renovaveis (LS:EDPR) was down 1.10% or 0.0780 points to 7.0030.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Lisbon Stock Exchange by 22 to 16 and 2 ended unchanged.

Shares in Banco Comercial Portugues (LS:BCP) rose to 52-week highs; up 0.90% or 0.0023 to 0.2592.

Brent oil for December delivery was down 0.23% or 0.13 to $57.10 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November fell 0.18% or 0.09 to hit $51.20 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract fell 0.62% or 8.02 to trade at $1281.98 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.61% to 1.1780, while EUR/GBP fell 0.85% to 0.8930.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.59% at 93.55.

Russia stocks lower at close of trade; MICEX down 0.04%

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

At the close in Moscow, the MICEX declined 0.04%.

The best performers of the session on the MICEX were Yevroplan PAO (MCX:EPLN), which rose 2.82% or 20.5 points to trade at 748.0 at the close. Meanwhile, United Company Rusal Plc (MCX:RUAL) added 2.72% or 1.040 points to end at 39.220 and Tatneft-3 (MCX:TATN) was up 2.24% or 9.30 points to 424.85 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Magnit (MCX:MGNT), which fell 9.48% or 895.0 points to trade at 8550.0 at the close. Yandex NV (MCX:YNDX) declined 2.36% or 43.50 points to end at 1796.00 and DIXY Group ao (MCX:DIXY) was down 1.41% or 4.50 points to 315.00.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Moscow Stock Exchange by 123 to 111 and 18 ended unchanged.

Shares in Magnit (MCX:MGNT) fell to 52-week lows; down 9.48% or 895.0 to 8550.0.

The Russian VIX, which measures the implied volatility of MICEX options, was down 4.67% to 14.890.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 0.62% or 8.01 to $1281.99 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November fell 0.19% or 0.10 to hit $51.19 a barrel, while the December Brent oil contract fell 0.17% or 0.10 to trade at $57.13 a barrel.

USD/RUB was up 0.51% to 57.5642, while EUR/RUB fell 0.16% to 67.8025.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.61% at 93.57.

Netherlands stocks higher at close of trade; AEX up 0.01%

Investing.com – Netherlands stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Healthcare, Basic Materials and Industrials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Amsterdam, the AEX gained 0.01%.

The best performers of the session on the AEX were Gemalto (AS:GTO), which rose 2.24% or 0.71 points to trade at 32.62 at the close. Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal SA (AS:MT) added 2.05% or 0.505 points to end at 25.175 and Galapagos NV (AS:GLPG) was up 1.86% or 1.570 points to 86.070 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Unilever NV (AS:UNc), which fell 2.87% or 1.41 points to trade at 47.79 at the close. Koninklijke KPN NV (AS:KPN) declined 0.64% or 0.019 points to end at 2.961 and Aegon NV (AS:AEGN) was down 0.50% or 0.025 points to 4.988.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by 69 to 56 and 12 ended unchanged.

The AEX Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of AEX options, was down 5.60% to 10.53.

Crude oil for November delivery was down 0.18% or 0.09 to $51.20 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in December fell 0.14% or 0.08 to hit $57.15 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract fell 0.62% or 8.02 to trade at $1281.98 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.63% to 1.1777, while EUR/GBP fell 0.85% to 0.8930.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.61% at 93.57.

Spain stocks higher at close of trade; IBEX 35 up 0.25%

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

At the close in Madrid, the IBEX 35 added 0.25%.

The best performers of the session on the IBEX 35 were ArcelorMittal SA (MC:MTS), which rose 1.95% or 0.480 points to trade at 25.140 at the close. Meanwhile, Indra A (MC:IDR) added 1.84% or 0.240 points to end at 13.285 and Acerinox (MC:ACX) was up 1.76% or 0.215 points to 12.400 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA (MC:GAM), which fell 4.33% or 0.510 points to trade at 11.275 at the close. Mediaset ESP (MC:TL5) declined 1.93% or 0.184 points to end at 9.365 and Ferrovial (MC:FER) was down 1.63% or 0.305 points to 18.450.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Madrid Stock Exchange by 100 to 67 and 21 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 0.62% or 8.02 to $1281.98 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November fell 0.23% or 0.12 to hit $51.17 a barrel, while the December Brent oil contract fell 0.19% or 0.11 to trade at $57.12 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.62% to 1.1778, while EUR/GBP fell 0.85% to 0.8930.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.61% at 93.57.

Belgium stocks higher at close of trade; BEL 20 up 0.42%

Investing.com – Belgium stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Healthcare, Financials and Industrials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Brussels, the BEL 20 gained 0.42% to hit a new 5-year high.

The best performers of the session on the BEL 20 were UCB (BR:UCB), which rose 2.35% or 1.41 points to trade at 61.48 at the close. Meanwhile, Galapagos NV (AS:GLPG) added 1.86% or 1.570 points to end at 86.070 and NV Bekaert SA (BR:BEKB) was up 1.83% or 0.72 points to 40.09 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Ontex Group (BR:ONTEX), which fell 1.51% or 0.46 points to trade at 30.07 at the close. Engie SA (PA:ENGIE) declined 0.76% or 0.11 points to end at 14.32 and Umicore SA (BR:UMI) was down 0.76% or 0.29 points to 37.43.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Brussels Stock Exchange by 54 to 53 and 16 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 0.56% or 7.23 to $1282.77 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 0.02% or 0.01 to hit $51.30 a barrel, while the December Brent oil contract rose 0.05% or 0.03 to trade at $57.26 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.60% to 1.1781, while EUR/GBP fell 0.89% to 0.8927.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.57% at 93.53.

Germany stocks mixed at close of trade; DAX up 0.01%

Investing.com – Germany stocks were mixed after the close on Friday, as gains in the Basic Resources, Construction and Transportation&Logistics sectors led shares higher while losses in the Retail, Industrials and Financial Services sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Frankfurt, the DAX rose 0.01%, while the MDAX index climbed 0.13%, and the TecDAX index fell 0.34%.

The best performers of the session on the DAX were Linde AG O.N. (DE:LING), which rose 3.23% or 5.60 points to trade at 178.95 at the close. Meanwhile, Deutsche Boerse AG (DE:DB1Gn) added 1.95% or 1.780 points to end at 92.830 and Deutsche Bank AG NA O.N. (DE:DBKGn) was up 1.55% or 0.220 points to 14.400 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Siemens AG Class N (DE:SIEGn), which fell 1.28% or 1.50 points to trade at 115.90 at the close. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (DE:BMWG) declined 1.27% or 1.110 points to end at 86.300 and Volkswagen AG VZO O.N. (DE:VOWG_p) was down 1.15% or 1.65 points to 141.55.

The top performers on the MDAX were Lanxess AG (DE:LXSG) which rose 2.42% to 68.060, Rheinmetall AG (DE:RHMG) which was up 2.07% to settle at 98.640 and Salzgitter AG (DE:SZGG) which gained 1.56% to close at 41.705.

The worst performers were Fraport AG (DE:FRAG) which was down 1.38% to 80.250 in late trade, Deutsche Wohnen AG (DE:DWNG) which lost 1.32% to settle at 36.235 and Bilfinger SE O.N. (DE:GBFG) which was down 1.26% to 34.600 at the close.

The top performers on the TecDAX were Software AG (DE:SOWG) which rose 3.50% to 41.965, SMA Solar Technology AG (DE:S92G) which was up 1.97% to settle at 36.505 and Nemetschek AG O.N. (DE:NEKG) which gained 1.53% to close at 78.800.

The worst performers were Evotec AG O.N. (DE:EVTG) which was down 8.80% to 18.765 in late trade, Nordex SE O.N. (DE:NDXG) which lost 3.73% to settle at 8.934 and Slm Solution G (DE:AM3D) which was down 2.53% to 34.03 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by 427 to 327 and 38 ended unchanged.

Shares in Salzgitter AG (DE:SZGG) rose to 5-year highs; gaining 1.56% or 0.640 to 41.705. Shares in Nordex SE O.N. (DE:NDXG) fell to 3-years lows; falling 3.73% or 0.346 to 8.934.

The DAX volatility index, which measures the implied volatility of DAX options, was down 0.65% to 12.16.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 0.53% or 6.78 to $1283.22 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 0.04% or 0.02 to hit $51.31 a barrel, while the December Brent oil contract rose 0.09% or 0.05 to trade at $57.28 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.58% to 1.1783, while EUR/GBP fell 0.87% to 0.8929.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.56% at 93.52.

Turkey stocks higher at close of trade; BIST 100 up 0.05%

Investing.com – Turkey stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Technology, Wholesale&Retail Trade and Real Estate Investments sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Istanbul, the BIST 100 added 0.05%.

The best performers of the session on the BIST 100 were Koza Altin Isletmeleri AS (IS:KOZAL), which rose 5.79% or 1.82 points to trade at 33.24 at the close. Meanwhile, Netas Telekomunikasyon AS (IS:NETAS) added 4.60% or 0.70 points to end at 15.92 and Ege Endustri ve Ticaret AS (IS:EGEEN) was up 3.22% or 8.90 points to 284.90 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Celebi Hava Servisi AS (IS:CLEBI), which fell 4.96% or 1.70 points to trade at 32.60 at the close. Vestel Beyaz Esya Sanayi ve Ticaret AS (IS:VESBE) declined 4.04% or 0.440 points to end at 10.460 and Banvit Bandirma Vitaminli Yem Sanayi AS (IS:BANVT) was down 3.93% or 0.980 points to 23.940.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Istanbul Stock Exchange by 212 to 138 and 53 ended unchanged.

Shares in Netas Telekomunikasyon AS (IS:NETAS) rose to 52-week highs; up 4.60% or 0.70 to 15.92.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 0.66% or 8.45 to $1281.55 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November fell 0.08% or 0.04 to hit $51.25 a barrel, while the December Brent oil contract fell 0.02% or 0.01 to trade at $57.22 a barrel.

USD/TRY was up 0.65% to 3.6703, while EUR/TRY fell 0.08% to 4.3223.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.67% at 93.62.

Stocks- Wall Street Opens at Record Highs Amid Tax-Cut Hope

Investing.com – Wall Street opened higher on Friday morning amid optimism that the U.S. administration could be closer to implementing a tax-cut plan.

The S&P 500 rose seven and a half points or 0.30% as of 11:03 AM ET (4:05 PM GMT) while the Dow composite jumped 77 points or 0.33% . Tech heavy Nasdaq Composite increased 22 points or 0.34%.

United States President Donald Trump cleared a major hurdle to his tax-cut plan on Thursday, when Senate Republicans passed a budget measure that clears the way for tax reform. Markets rose soon after the vote on Thursday and continued to rally into Friday.

Among the biggest gainers after the markets opened was PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL), which jumped 4.91% after it posted higher than expected earnings while media company McClatchy Co (NYSE:MNI) skyrocketed 11.42%.

Bank stocks also rallied, with Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) jumping 1.84%, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) rising 1.05%, Citigroup (NYSE:C) increasing 0.73% and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) up 1.08%.

Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) fell 3.22% after a lackluster third-quarter of sales. General Electric (NYSE:GE) slumped 2.88% after its third-quarter earnings did not meet analyst expectations while luxury carmaker Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) slid down 1.48%. Biopharmaceutical company Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) decreased 9.91% after a clinical trial of one of its key drugs failed.

Meanwhile existing home sales unexpectedly rebounded in the U.S. after Hurricanes Irma and Harvey as the economy continues to strengthen.

Stocks in Europe were mixed. In Germany the DAX fell 20 points or 0.16% while France’s CAC 40 was down two points or 0.04% and in Spain the IBEX 35 rallied seven points or 0.07%. London’s FTSE 100 inched down two and half points or 0.03 while the pan-European Euro Stoxx were down two and a half points or 0.08%.

In commodities, gold futures fell 0.34% or $1,285.62 a troy ounce while crude oil futures rose 0.43% to $51.47 a barrel. The U.S dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, jumped 0.48% to 93.45.

Dollar Index Holds Onto Gains in Quiet Trade

Investing.com - The dollar held onto gains against other major currencies in quiet trade on Friday, as hopes for a major U.S. tax reform continued to support amid ongoing speculation over the next head of the Federal Reserve.

The greenback was boosted after the U.S. Senate late Thursday approved a budget blueprint for the 2018 fiscal year that will pave the way for Republicans to pursue tax-cut plans without Democratic support.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted for the budget measure by 51 to 49, which would add up to $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit over the next ten years in order to pay for proposed tax cuts.

Meanwhile, speculation over who will replace Janet Yellen as head of the Fed persisted.

Reports that U.S. President Donald Trump was leaning toward Fed Governor Jerome Powell, who is perceived as a less hawkish candidate, had temporarily weighed on the dollar.

Trump concluded interviews on Thursday with the five candidates, including Janet Yellen, he is considering to chair the Fed. He could announce a decision as early as next week.

EUR/USD dropped 0.35% to 1.1810, while GBP/USD edged up 0.18% to trade at 1.3183.

The pound rebounded from earlier losses after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels that Brexit talks had not reached a stalemate and were in fact progressing. She claimed it was ‘absurd’ to think they would be broken off.

Meanwhile, the euro remained pressure as the Spanish government was set to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy and impose direct rule after the region’s president refused to abandon the push for independence on Thursday.

The announcement came after Carles Puigdemont threatened a unilateral declaration of independence if the Spanish government did not agree to talks on the issue.

The yen and the Swiss franc remained lower, with USD/JPY up 0.63% at 113.24 and with USD/CHF climbing 0.55% to 0.9818.

Market participants were looking ahead to Japan's general election, scheduled on Sunday. Recent polls suggest that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition is on track to match the two-thirds "super majority" it held in parliament's lower house before the snap election was called.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were lower with AUD/USD down 0.47% at 0.7842 and with NZD/USD sliding 0.54% to a five-month low of 0.6990.

Investors were still digesting news of a new Labor coalition, formed by New Zealand Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD advanced 0.58% to trade at 1.2557 after data showed that Canada's inflation rose less than expected last month, while retail sales declined more than anticipated.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.37% at 93.34 by 08:45 a.m. ET (12:45 GMT).

Canadian Retail Sales Fall More Than Expected

Investing.com - Retail sales in Canada fell more than expected in September, undermining confidence in consumer spending, official data showed on Friday.

In a report, Statistics Canada said that Canadian retail sales decreased 0.3% in September, compared to forecasts for a 0.5% gain and after a 0.4% advance in the prior month.

Core retail sales, excluding automobiles, slumped 0.7%, after a 0.2% advance in the preceding month. Analysts had expected Canadian core retail sales to increase by 0.3%.

After the report, which was released simultaneously with Canadian inflation data, USD/CAD traded at 1.2556, compared to 1.2492 prior to the release.

When Will The Blockchain Go Mainstream?

Investing.com - As we approach the end of 2017, it's safe to proclaim "The Blockchain" as the buzzword of the year.
Countless articles have been written on the new technology poised to revolutionize our world, but the new technology has had little impact to no impact on the common man.
Most Blockchain applications have been limited in scope and adopted as pilots by corporations. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is experimenting with the technology, and has filed over 20 Blockchain based patent applications. IBM (NYSE:IBM) has partnered with Blockchain start-up Stellar, and successfully settled financial transactions using a Blockchain based cryptocurrency.
However, as it has been the case for many years with Bitcoin, the general public is not involved or actively taking part in using the newest forms of technology. It needs to transform in order to be made accessible for people with little to no technological or financial background.
This gap will continue to be the main challenge facing Blockchain in general and cryptocurrencies in particular. The Blockchain is often compared to the Internet in terms of disruption potential – and it did take about a decade for the internet to cross a 50% penetration threshold in the US.
2018 will mark the 10 year anniversary of the first distributed blockchain, and if more accessible platforms are created for the general public – it could also be the year the Blockchain finally goes mainstream.

Sri Lanka stocks higher at close of trade; CSE All-Share up 0.26%

Investing.com – Sri Lanka stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Beverages&Tobacco, Information Technology and Healthcare sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Colombo, the CSE All-Share rose 0.26%.

The best performers of the session on the CSE All-Share were Kelsey Developments PLC (CM:KDL), which rose 24.93% or 9.40 points to trade at 47.10 at the close. Meanwhile, Radiant Gems International PLC (CM:RGEM) added 16.85% or 4.60 points to end at 31.90 and Shalimar Estates (CM:SHAL) was up 15.26% or 263.40 points to 1990.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Serendib Land PLC (CM:SLND), which fell 17.39% or 257.70 points to trade at 1224.00 at the close. Amana Takaful PLC (CM:ATL) declined 11.11% or 0.100 points to end at 0.800 and Central Investments and Finance PLC (CM:CIFL) was down 10.00% or 0.100 points to 0.900.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Colombo Stock Exchange by 118 to 73 and 61 ended unchanged.

Shares in Radiant Gems International PLC (CM:RGEM) rose to 52-week highs; up 16.85% or 4.60 to 31.90.

Crude oil for November delivery was down 0.78% or 0.40 to $50.89 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in December fell 0.58% or 0.33 to hit $56.90 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract fell 0.52% or 6.70 to trade at $1283.30 a troy ounce.

GBP/LKR was down 0.17% to 202.180, while USD/LKR fell 0.03% to 153.610.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.40% at 93.37.

Japan stocks higher at close of trade; Nikkei 225 up 0.04%

Investing.com – Japan stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Shipbuilding, Steel and Finance&Investment sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 added 0.04% to hit a new 5-year high.

The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were SUMCO Corp. (T:3436), which rose 3.71% or 74.0 points to trade at 2069.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd. (T:7735) added 3.00% or 245.0 points to end at 8420.0 and Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd. (T:1332) was up 2.73% or 18.0 points to 677.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co. (T:5706), which fell 2.38% or 135.0 points to trade at 5530.0 at the close. Amada Co., Ltd. (T:6113) declined 2.27% or 30.0 points to end at 1290.0 and Alps Electric Co., Ltd. (T:6770) was down 2.19% or 70.0 points to 3120.0.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1888 to 1395 and 215 ended unchanged.

Shares in SUMCO Corp. (T:3436) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 3.71% or 74.0 to 2069.0.

The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was up 0.93% to 15.18.

Crude oil for November delivery was down 0.12% or 0.06 to $51.23 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in December unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to hit $57.23 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract fell 0.56% or 7.22 to trade at $1282.78 a troy ounce.

USD/JPY was up 0.79% to 113.43, while EUR/JPY rose 0.38% to 133.89.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.43% at 93.40.

Crude Oil Prices Rise as Optimism Persists

Investing.com - Crude oil prices rose on Friday, recovering from the previous session's sharp losses as optimism over the tightening of the market persisted.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude November contract was up 14 cents or about 0.25% at $51.41 a barrel by 04:00 a.m. ET (08:00 GMT).

Elsewhere, Brent oil for December delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London was up 13 cents or about 0.24% at $57.37 a barrel.

Crude prices found support after the Energy Iformation Administration reported this week that crude oil inventories fell by 5.7 million barrels, marking the fourth straight weekly decline. However, gasoline stockpiles were up 900,000 barrels for the week, while distillate stockpiles rose by 500,000 barrels.

The report also showed that domestic crude production slumped by 11% from the previous week to 8.4 million, as production had to be shut because of Hurricane Nate, which hit the U.S. Gulf coast earlier in October.

Prices were also boosted by expectations that major global producers will extend a deal to curb production beyond its current expiry date next March.

The commodity had weakened on Thursday after the outgoing governor of China's central bank warned of a "Minsky moment", a reference to excessive optimism about economic growth.

Elsewhere, gasoline futures were up 0.30% at $1.65 a gallon, while natural gas futures rose 0.35% to $2.883 per million British thermal units.

China stocks higher at close of trade; Shanghai Composite up 0.28%

Investing.com – China stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Software&Computer Services, Real Estate Investments&Services and Telecoms sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Shanghai, the Shanghai Composite added 0.28%, while the SZSE Component index climbed 0.44%.

The best performers of the session on the Shanghai Composite were Shanghai International Port Group Co Ltd (SS:600018), which rose 10.06% or 0.720 points to trade at 7.880 at the close. Meanwhile, China United Travel Co Ltd (SS:600358) added 10.03% or 0.72 points to end at 7.90 and CTS International Logistics Corp Ltd (SS:603128) was up 10.03% or 0.990 points to 10.860 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Zhejiang Three Stars New Materials Co Ltd (SS:603578), which fell 9.99% or 4.63 points to trade at 41.70 at the close. MeiHua Holdings Group Co Ltd (SS:600873) declined 6.47% or 0.420 points to end at 6.070 and Zhejiang Tuna Environmental Science &Technology Co Ltd (SS:603177) was down 6.02% or 1.42 points to 22.17.

The top performers on the SZSE Component were BlueFocus Communication Group (SZ:300058) which rose 10.03% to 7.90, Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd (SZ:300418) which was up 10.02% to settle at 29.32 and Gohigh Data Networks Technology Co Ltd (SZ:000851) which gained 7.06% to close at 11.98.

The worst performers were Beijing Oriental Yuhong Waterproof Technology Co Ltd (SZ:002271) which was down 5.31% to 38.35 in late trade, Beijing UniStrong Science&Technology Co Ltd (SZ:002383) which lost 4.99% to settle at 16.57 and Anhui Gujing Distillery Co Ltd (SZ:000596) which was down 4.22% to 67.33 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Shanghai Stock Exchange by 1110 to 205 and 21 ended unchanged.

Shares in Shanghai International Port Group Co Ltd (SS:600018) rose to 52-week highs; rising 10.06% or 0.720 to 7.880. Shares in Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd (SZ:300418) rose to 52-week highs; rising 10.02% or 2.67 to 29.32.

The CBOE China Etf Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Shanghai Composite options, was up 2.03% to 17.62.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 0.52% or 6.67 to $1283.33 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 0.35% or 0.18 to hit $51.47 a barrel, while the December Brent oil contract rose 0.33% or 0.19 to trade at $57.42 a barrel.

USD/CNY was down 0.21% to 6.6171, while EUR/CNY fell 0.47% to 7.8050.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.46% at 93.43.

Gold Prices Drop on Stronger U.S. Dollar

Investing.com - Gold prices dropped on Friday, as the U.S. dollar strengthened amid fresh hopes for a major tax overhaul in the near future.

Comex gold futures were down $3.54 or about 0.28% at $1,286.44 a troy ounce by 03:00 a.m. ET (07:00 GMT).

The greenback was boosted after the U.S. Senate late Thursday approved a budget blueprint for the 2018 fiscal year that will pave the way for Republicans to pursue tax-cut plans without Democratic support.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted for the budget measure by 51-to-49, which would add up to $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit over the next ten years in order to pay for proposed tax cuts.

Meanwhile, speculation over who will replace Janet Yellen as head of the Fed persisted.

Reports that U.S. President Donald Trump was leaning toward Fed Governor Jerome Powell, who is perceived as a less hawkish candidate, had temporarily weighed on the dollar.

Trump concluded interviews on Thursday with the five candidates, including Janet Yellen, he is considering to chair the Fed. He could announce a decision as early as next week.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.38% at 93.35.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures slid 0.32% to $17.20 a troy ounce.

Taiwan stocks lower at close of trade; Taiwan Weighted down 0.29%

Investing.com – Taiwan stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the , Paper&Pulp and Optoelectronic sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Taiwan, the Taiwan Weighted declined 0.29%.

The best performers of the session on the Taiwan Weighted were Rexon Industrial Corp Ltd (TW:1515), which rose 10.00% or 5.70 points to trade at 62.70 at the close. Meanwhile, Min Aik Precision Industrial Co Ltd (TW:4545) added 9.93% or 4.10 points to end at 45.40 and Huang Hsiang Construction Corp (TW:2545) was up 9.70% or 2.90 points to 32.80 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Universal Microelectronics Co Ltd (TW:2413), which fell 8.08% or 1.75 points to trade at 19.90 at the close. Global Unichip Corp (TW:3443) declined 6.59% or 20.50 points to end at 290.50 and PCL Technologies Inc (TW:4977) was down 4.55% or 5.50 points to 115.50.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Taiwan Stock Exchange by 444 to 312 and 113 ended unchanged.

Shares in Rexon Industrial Corp Ltd (TW:1515) rose to all time highs; up 10.00% or 5.70 to 62.70.

Crude oil for November delivery was up 0.51% or 0.26 to $51.55 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in December rose 0.42% or 0.24 to hit $57.47 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract fell 0.34% or 4.35 to trade at $1285.65 a troy ounce.

USD/TWD was up 0.04% to 30.239, while TWD/CNY fell 0.27% to 0.2188.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.34% at 93.32.

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