Morocco stocks lower at close of trade; Moroccan All Shares down 0.11%

Investing.com – Morocco stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Hotels, Restaurants&Leisure, Real Estate and Oil&Gas sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Casablanca, the Moroccan All Shares lost 0.11%.

The best performers of the session on the Moroccan All Shares were Timar (CS:TIM), which rose 9.88% or 21.75 points to trade at 241.80 at the close. Meanwhile, Involys (CS:INV) added 7.45% or 9.50 points to end at 137.00 and Agma Lahlou-Tazi (CS:AGMA) was up 6.00% or 174 points to 3076 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Risma (CS:RIS), which fell 3.34% or 5.95 points to trade at 172.00 at the close. Residences Dar Saada SA (CS:RDS) declined 3.20% or 4.00 points to end at 121.00 and Douja Prom Addoha (CS:ADH) was down 2.93% or 0.74 points to 24.55.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Casablanca Stock Exchange by 21 to 17 and 5 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.22% or 0.15 to $68.25 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.30% or 0.22 to hit $74.28 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.99% or 13.30 to trade at $1325.00 a troy ounce.

EUR/MAD was down 0.23% to 11.2840, while USD/MAD rose 0.37% to 9.2366.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.63% at 90.65.

Denmark stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Copenhagen 20 up 0.37%

Investing.com – Denmark stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Software&Computer Services, Technology and Financials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Copenhagen, the OMX Copenhagen 20 added 0.37%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Copenhagen 20 were DSV (CO:DSV), which rose 1.72% or 8.4 points to trade at 496.9 at the close. Meanwhile, Coloplast A/S (CO:COLOb) added 1.38% or 7.2 points to end at 528.2 and Novozymes A/S B (CO:NZYMb) was up 1.10% or 3.4 points to 312.2 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Genmab (CO:GEN), which fell 1.07% or 13.5 points to trade at 1253.5 at the close. Chr. Hansen Holding A/S (CO:CHRH) declined 0.71% or 4.0 points to end at 562.2 and AP Moeller - Maersk A/S B (CO:MAERSKb) was down 0.59% or 56 points to 9488.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange by 68 to 55 and 13 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.19% or 0.13 to $68.27 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.34% or 0.25 to hit $74.31 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.98% or 13.10 to trade at $1325.20 a troy ounce.

USD/DKK was up 0.60% to 6.0976, while EUR/DKK rose 0.00% to 7.4478.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.62% at 90.64.

France stocks higher at close of trade; CAC 40 up 0.48%

Investing.com – France stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Oil&Gas, Financials and Industrials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 added 0.48% to hit a new 1-month high, while the SBF 120 index climbed 0.29%.

The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were Airbus Group SE (PA:AIR), which rose 2.11% or 1.99 points to trade at 96.16 at the close. Meanwhile, TechnipFMC PLC (PA:FTI) added 1.86% or 0.50 points to end at 27.42 and Compagnie de Saint Gobain SA (PA:SGOB) was up 1.28% or 0.56 points to 44.57 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Pernod Ricard SA (PA:PERP), which fell 1.83% or 2.55 points to trade at 136.45 at the close. Legrand SA (PA:LEGD) declined 1.10% or 0.72 points to end at 64.48 and Essilor International Compagnie Generale d’Optique SA (PA:ESSI) was down 0.87% or 1.00 points to 113.45.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Vallourec (PA:VLLP) which rose 2.96% to 5.220, Airbus Group SE (PA:AIR) which was up 2.11% to settle at 96.16 and Metropole TV (PA:MMTP) which gained 2.04% to close at 20.96.

The worst performers were SES (PA:SESFd) which was down 8.03% to 11.68 in late trade, Eramet (PA:ERMT) which lost 5.69% to settle at 139.20 and Groupe FNAC (PA:FNAC) which was down 4.81% to 88.100 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 288 to 272 and 91 ended unchanged.

The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was down 1.74% to 12.35.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.96% or 12.90 to $1325.40 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in June fell 0.26% or 0.18 to hit $68.22 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.23% or 0.17 to trade at $74.23 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.60% to 1.2214, while EUR/GBP fell 0.22% to 0.8757.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.62% at 90.64.

Italy stocks higher at close of trade; Investing.com Italy 40 up 1.03%

Investing.com – Italy stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Financials, Technology and Oil&Gas sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Milan, the Investing.com Italy 40 gained 1.03% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the Investing.com Italy 40 were Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (MI:FCHA), which rose 2.11% or 0.406 points to trade at 19.680 at the close. Meanwhile, Mediobanca (MI:MDBI) added 2.02% or 0.205 points to end at 10.375 and UnipolSai Assicurazioni SpA (MI:US) was up 1.88% or 0.040 points to 2.173 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Luxottica Group (MI:LUX), which fell 2.17% or 1.14 points to trade at 51.40 at the close. Italgas SpA (MI:IG) declined 1.58% or 0.082 points to end at 5.092 and Prysmian (MI:PRY) was down 0.93% or 0.23 points to 24.57.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Milan Stock Exchange by 206 to 132 and 27 ended unchanged.

Shares in Mediobanca (MI:MDBI) rose to 5-year highs; rising 2.02% or 0.205 to 10.375.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.25% or 0.17 to $68.23 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.28% or 0.21 to hit $74.27 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.97% or 13.00 to trade at $1325.30 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.60% to 1.2214, while EUR/GBP fell 0.22% to 0.8757.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.62% at 90.64.

Netherlands stocks higher at close of trade; AEX up 0.70%

Investing.com – Netherlands stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Healthcare, Telecoms and Technology sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Amsterdam, the AEX added 0.70% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the AEX were Koninklijke Philips NV (AS:PHG), which rose 5.53% or 1.82 points to trade at 34.75 at the close. Meanwhile, ASR Nederland NV (AS:ASRNL) added 2.18% or 0.82 points to end at 38.44 and Altice NV (AS:ATCA) was up 1.83% or 0.15 points to 8.45 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Randstad Holding NV (AS:RAND), which fell 1.26% or 0.70 points to trade at 54.80 at the close. Heineken (AS:HEIN) declined 1.12% or 0.98 points to end at 86.66 and Akzo Nobel (AS:AKZO) was down 0.69% or 0.54 points to 78.00.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by 68 to 53 and 12 ended unchanged.

The AEX Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of AEX options, was up 2.00% to 11.69.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.26% or 0.18 to $68.22 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.28% or 0.21 to hit $74.27 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.97% or 13.00 to trade at $1325.30 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.60% to 1.2214, while EUR/GBP fell 0.23% to 0.8756.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.62% at 90.64.

Poland stocks lower at close of trade; WIG30 down 0.47%

Investing.com – Poland stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Basic Materials, Energy and Telecoms sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Warsaw, the WIG30 declined 0.47%.

The best performers of the session on the WIG30 were Grupa Lotos SA (WA:LTSP), which rose 2.07% or 1.14 points to trade at 56.14 at the close. Meanwhile, Kernel Holding SA (WA:KER) added 1.34% or 0.65 points to end at 49.30 and Powszechna Kasa Oszczednosci Bank Polski SA (WA:PKO) was up 0.83% or 0.34 points to 41.48 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were KGHM Polska Miedz SA (WA:KGH), which fell 4.28% or 4.11 points to trade at 91.83 at the close. Bank Millennium SA (WA:MILP) declined 3.40% or 0.29 points to end at 8.23 and OrangePL (WA:OPL) was down 3.36% or 0.19 points to 5.47.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Warsaw Stock Exchange by 257 to 184 and 177 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.35% or 0.24 to $68.16 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.15% or 0.11 to hit $74.17 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.96% or 12.90 to trade at $1325.40 a troy ounce.

EUR/PLN was up 0.74% to 4.2034, while USD/PLN rose 1.32% to 3.4405.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.59% at 90.61.

Sweden stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Stockholm 30 up 0.96%

Investing.com – Sweden stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Telecoms, Consumer Services and Healthcare sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Stockholm, the OMX Stockholm 30 rose 0.96% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Stockholm 30 were Alfa Laval AB (ST:ALFA), which rose 6.36% or 13.3 points to trade at 222.3 at the close. Meanwhile, H&M Hennes&Mauritz AB B (ST:HMb) added 3.23% or 4.3 points to end at 136.7 and Telia Company AB (ST:TELIA) was up 3.12% or 1.29 points to 42.59 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Securitas AB ser. B (ST:SECUb), which fell 1.04% or 1.45 points to trade at 138.45 at the close. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson Class B (ST:ERICb) declined 0.85% or 0.56 points to end at 65.22 and Fingerprint Cards AB ser. B (ST:FINGb) was down 0.75% or 0.06 points to 8.17.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Stockholm Stock Exchange by 356 to 255 and 62 ended unchanged.

Shares in Alfa Laval AB (ST:ALFA) rose to all time highs; rising 6.36% or 13.3 to 222.3. Shares in Telia Company AB (ST:TELIA) rose to 52-week highs; rising 3.12% or 1.29 to 42.59.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.54% or 0.37 to $68.03 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.01% or 0.01 to hit $74.07 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.96% or 12.90 to trade at $1325.40 a troy ounce.

EUR/SEK was up 0.09% to 10.3874, while USD/SEK rose 0.65% to 8.5010.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.59% at 90.61.

Greece stocks lower at close of trade; Athens General Composite down 0.72%

Investing.com – Greece stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Basic Resources, Healthcare and Household sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Athens, the Athens General Composite lost 0.72%.

The best performers of the session on the Athens General Composite were Flexopack SA (AT:FLXr), which rose 5.97% or 0.4000 points to trade at 7.3000 at the close. Meanwhile, Centric Hold (AT:DESr) added 3.16% or 0.005 points to end at 0.163 and Thrace Plastic (AT:THRr) was up 1.99% or 0.050 points to 2.560 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Profile Syst (AT:PRFr), which fell 4.51% or 0.060 points to trade at 1.270 at the close. Mytilineos Holdings SA (AT:MYTr) declined 3.90% or 0.400 points to end at 9.860 and J.&P. Avax (AT:AVAr) was down 3.07% or 0.025 points to 0.790.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Athens Stock Exchange by 72 to 46 and 15 ended unchanged.

Shares in Flexopack SA (AT:FLXr) rose to 3-years highs; up 5.97% or 0.4000 to 7.3000.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.93% or 12.40 to $1325.90 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in June fell 0.75% or 0.51 to hit $67.89 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 0.19% or 0.14 to trade at $73.92 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.55% to 1.2221, while EUR/GBP fell 0.17% to 0.8761.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.56% at 90.58.

Facebook Gets First Downgrade Since Data Scandal

Investing.com - It took more than a month, but a Wall Street firm has downgraded Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) in the wake of its data privacy scandal.
OTR Global lowered its rating from positive to mixed, forecasting lower year-over-year growth in advertising spending .
The research firm expects growth in ad spending to be 19%-24% higher than a year ago, compared to a 30% gain in the fourth quarter.
OTR's is the first downgrade, although several other firms have lowered their stock-price targets for Facebook since the social media giant revealed that Cambridge Analytica had misused the personal data of millions of users.
Facebook shares, which had lost as much as 17% of their value in the wake of the scandal, are down 13% from their February high.
The company reports earnings on April 25.

Israel stocks lower at close of trade; TA 35 down 0.75%

Investing.com – Israel stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Biomed, Oil&Gas and Insurance sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Tel Aviv, the TA 35 lost 0.75%.

The best performers of the session on the TA 35 were Azrieli Group Ltd (TA:AZRG), which rose 2.07% or 350 points to trade at 17260 at the close. Meanwhile, First International Bank of Israel Ltd (TA:FTIN) added 1.43% or 108 points to end at 7672 and Sodastream International Ltd (TA:SODA) was up 0.73% or 250.0 points to 34450.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Partner (TA:PTNR), which fell 2.45% or 41 points to trade at 1630 at the close. OPKO Health Inc (TA:OPK) declined 2.17% or 24 points to end at 1082 and Frutarom Industries Ltd (TA:FRUT) was down 2.07% or 750 points to 35500.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by 240 to 145 and 27 ended unchanged.

Shares in Sodastream International Ltd (TA:SODA) rose to all time highs; gaining 0.73% or 250.0 to 34450.0.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.99% or 0.68 to $67.72 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 0.42% or 0.31 to hit $73.75 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.93% or 12.40 to trade at $1325.90 a troy ounce.

USD/ILS was up 0.33% to 3.5416, while EUR/ILS fell 0.18% to 4.3296.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.52% at 90.55.

Dollar Posts Broad Gains, Hits 7-Week Highs

Investing.com - The dollar posted broad gains against a basket of the other major currencies on Monday, hitting seven week highs, boosted by rising U.S. bond yields.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.57% to 90.60 by 10:04 AM ET (14:04 GMT), the highest level since March 1.

The yield 10-year U.S. Treasury notes moved closer to the 3% level on Monday, as strengthening inflation prospects added to expectations for a faster rate of monetary tightening from the Federal Reserve.

The dollar received an additional boost after data showing that U.S. existing home sales rose strongly in March, in what was a second straight monthly increase.

The dollar rose to more than two-month highs against the safe haven yen, with USD/JPY advancing 0.72% to 108.42.

The Japanese currency is often sought in times of market turmoil and political tensions and tends to decline as investor confidence returns.

North Korea said on Saturday it was suspending nuclear and missile tests and scrapping its nuclear test site ahead of planned summits with South Korea and the U.S.

Besides concerns over geopolitical risks, worries over a trade spat between the U.S. and China also appeared to be easing.

The euro slid to two-month lows, with EUR/USD down 0.58% to 1.2217.

The single currency failed to find support after data showing that while activity in the euro area service sector picked up in April manufacturing growth slowed to the lowest level in 14 months.

The decline was due, in part, to the stronger euro hitting export growth.

Sterling was also lower, with GBP/USD down 0.44% to 1.3941 after ending the previous week down 1.71%.

The pound fell last week after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney indicated that the central bank may not raise interest rates in May after recent weaker-than-expected wage growth and inflation data.

U.S. Business Activity Grows in April – Markit

Investing.com - U.S. private sector activity grew in April, according to survey data released on Monday.

The preliminary reading of the Markit services purchasing managers’ index came in at 54.4 this month from 54.0 in March.

Economists had forecast a reading of 54.3.

The manufacturing PMI rose to 56.5, compared to expectations for 55.2 and from 55.6 a month earlier.

The composite output index, which measures the combined output of both the manufacturing and service sectors rose to 54.8 from 54.2, against expectations for 55.3.

A reading above 50.0 on the index indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction.

The research group noted that the surveys registered the second strongest monthly expansion since last October.

“Manufacturing is leading the upturn, with factories reporting the strongest output gains for 15 months, and the vast service sector is enjoying a steady, robust expansion,” IHS Markit chief economist Chris Williamson explained.

“After a relatively disappointing start to the year, the second quarter should prove a lot more encouraging,” this expert indicated.

Williamson said that the survey data pointed to growth of 2.5% in the second quarter.

He highlighted that growth in new orders accelerated to show the largest surge in demand for goods and services for just over three years while companies’ expectations for growth also jumped to a three-year high.

Williamson also noted that hiring remained robust, pointing to the creation of around 200,000 nonfarm payrolls in April.

“The details of the survey therefore suggest that output growth is on course to accelerate as we move into the summer,” Williamson concluded.

However, he also warned that prices are meanwhile being pulled upwards by the strength of the upturn, “sending hawkish signals for policy makers”.

Cryptos Mixed; Walmart, Amazon Patent Bitcoin

Investing.com - Bitcoin and other virtual coins were mixed on Monday, as talk of regulation eased investor appetite and U.S. retail giants Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Amazon looked to monetize the technology.

Bitcoin was trading at $8,935.0 inching up 0.02% as of 8:44 AM ET (12:44 GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange.

In Iran, the central bank has banned banks from dealing in cryptocurrencies. The Central Bank of Iran had already declared that trading Bitcoin on exchange platforms was illegal.

The country is concerned that the virtual currencies could be used for money-laundering and heighten a currency crisis. Its currency, the rial, plunged to an all-time low last month amid concern of a return of sanctions.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to decide by May 12 whether to implement economic sanctions on Iran, which has been lifted in a 2015 pact with six major countries, including the U.S.

Meanwhile, the National Bank of Dubai was the first bank in the region to implement blockchain technology in check-issuance to prevent fraud. NBD is one of the largest banks in the Middle East by assets volume.

In the U.S., San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams said that cryptocurrencies are not actually currency.

“Cryptocurrency doesn’t pass the basic test of what a currency should be,” he said. His remark echoes other regulators who remain skeptical about the use of digital coins.

Elsewhere, U.S. retailers are looking to use Bitcoin and blockchain technology to make shipping and payments easier. Retail giant Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) has just patented a blockchain payment system for vendors and customers. The system will automatically process payments for products and services, and encrypt the transactions on a blockchain.

Rival online retailer Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) has also patented bitcoin for use with tracking. The firm is hoping to track data streams, combine the information and then sell the data, taking the anonymity out of bitcoin. Amazon says that every time a bitcoin transaction takes place, other data can be captured, creating an profile for retailers, internet providers and banks.

Other virtual currencies were mixed, with rival Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, rising 2.76% to $644.20 on the Bitfinex exchange. Ripple, the third largest virtual currency, decreased 2.59% to $0.87376 while Litecoin was at $151.87, an increase of 0.81%.

Economic Calendar: Top Things To Watch

Investing.com - Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) and Wynn Resorts release first-quarter earnings on Monday. Look for key housing reports, with existing home sales on Monday and new home sales on Tuesday.On Wednesday, Boeing (NYSE:BA), eBay, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Ford Motor (NYSE:F), General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) and Twitter report earnings.American Airlines, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), General Motors (NYSE:GM), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) release earnings on Thursday. On Thursday, the government reports on weekly jobless claims, orders for durable goods and international trade in goods.The first reading on first-quarter GDP is due out Friday, along with the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for April.

U.S. 10-Year Treasury Yield Flirts With Key 3%-Level

Investing.com - U.S. government debt yields rose on Monday, with the benchmark 10-year note inching closer to the psychologically important 3%-threshold.

The benchmark 10-year yield hit an intraday high of 2.998%, a level not seen since January 2014. It was last at 2.988% by 6:20AM ET (1020GMT), up 3.5 basis points, or 1.2%.

The 10-year yield has not been above 3% - the point at which strategists and fund managers say equities will really hurt - since early 2014. It started the year at 2.4%.

Meanwhile, the yield on the Fed-sensitive 2-year note hit a high of 2.478%, its strongest level since Sept. 2008, while the 5-year yield touched a peak of 2.828%, a level last seen in June 2009.

The yield on the 30-year bond was also higher at 3.174%.

Bond yields move inversely to prices. One basis point is equal to one hundredth of a percentage point.

The increase in U.S. bond yields helped underpin the dollar, which jumped to a more than seven-week high against a basket of major currencies.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.4% to 90.44, the strongest level since March 1.

The recent bounce in yields and the dollar came as strengthening inflation prospects added to expectations of a more hawkish approach from the Federal Reserve this year.

The majority of economists believe that the Fed will hike rates in June, followed by another hike in September, with a third move higher arriving in December.

Indonesia stocks lower at close of trade; IDX Composite Index down 0.47%

Investing.com – Indonesia stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Property, Consumer Industry and Miscellaneous Industry sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Jakarta, the IDX Composite Index declined 0.47%.

The best performers of the session on the IDX Composite Index were Primarindo Asia Infrastructure Tbk PT (JK:BIMA), which rose 34.72% or 25 points to trade at 97 at the close. Meanwhile, Bekasi Asri Pemula Tbk (JK:BAPA) added 33.59% or 43 points to end at 171 and Indomobil Multi Jasa Tbk (JK:IMJS) was up 25.00% or 160 points to 800 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were PT Cahayasakti Investindo Sukses Tbk (JK:CSIS), which fell 25.00% or 150 points to trade at 450 at the close. Indah Prakasa Sentosa PT Tbk (JK:INPS) declined 14.19% or 430 points to end at 2600 and Pikko Land Development Tbk (JK:RODA) was down 13.39% or 85 points to 550.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Jakarta Stock Exchange by 228 to 143 and 114 ended unchanged.

Shares in PT Cahayasakti Investindo Sukses Tbk (JK:CSIS) fell to all time lows; losing 25.00% or 150 to 450. Shares in Bekasi Asri Pemula Tbk (JK:BAPA) rose to 5-year highs; gaining 33.59% or 43 to 171. Shares in Indomobil Multi Jasa Tbk (JK:IMJS) rose to all time highs; gaining 25.00% or 160 to 800.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.47% or 0.32 to $68.08 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 0.23% or 0.17 to hit $73.89 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.62% or 8.30 to trade at $1330.00 a troy ounce.

USD/IDR was up 0.72% to 13969.8, while AUD/IDR rose 0.24% to 10664.00.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.43% at 90.47.

Philippines stocks lower at close of trade; PSEi Composite down 0.09%

Investing.com – Philippines stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Mining&Oil, Services and Holding Firms sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Philippines, the PSEi Composite fell 0.09%.

The best performers of the session on the PSEi Composite were DMCI Holdings Inc (PS:DMC), which rose 2.31% or 0.280 points to trade at 12.380 at the close. Meanwhile, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co (PS:MBT) added 1.99% or 1.65 points to end at 84.55 and Bank of the Philippine Islands (PS:BPI) was up 1.89% or 2.00 points to 108.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Metro Pacific Investments Corp (PS:MPI), which fell 3.45% or 0.160 points to trade at 4.480 at the close. Robinsons Land Corp (PS:RLC) declined 3.09% or 0.580 points to end at 18.160 and BDO Unibank Inc (PS:BDO) was down 2.31% or 3.10 points to 130.90.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Philippines Stock Exchange by 103 to 88 and 57 ended unchanged.

Shares in Metro Pacific Investments Corp (PS:MPI) fell to 52-week lows; losing 3.45% or 0.160 to 4.480. Shares in Robinsons Land Corp (PS:RLC) fell to 5-year lows; losing 3.09% or 0.580 to 18.160.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.46% or 6.10 to $1332.20 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in June fell 0.63% or 0.43 to hit $67.97 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 0.57% or 0.42 to trade at $73.64 a barrel.

CNY/PHP was up 0.20% to 8.3012, while USD/PHP rose 0.38% to 52.335.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.24% at 90.30.

French Private Sector Growth Accelerates in April: PMI

Investing.com - French private sector activity accelerated in April, according to survey data released on Monday.

The preliminary reading of the Markit services purchasing managers’ index came in at 57.4 this month from 56.9 in March.

Economists had forecast a reading of 56.6.

The manufacturing PMI ticked up to 53.4, in line with expectations and up from 53.7 a month earlier.

The composite output index, which measures the combined output of both the manufacturing and service sectors rose to 56.9 from 56.3, against expectations for 55.9.

A reading above 50.0 on the index indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction.

Taiwan stocks lower at close of trade; Taiwan Weighted down 0.76%

Investing.com – Taiwan stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the , Optoelectronic and Machinery sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Taiwan, the Taiwan Weighted fell 0.76% to hit a new 1-month low.

The best performers of the session on the Taiwan Weighted were LongDa Construction&Development Corp (TW:5519), which rose 10.00% or 1.15 points to trade at 12.65 at the close. Meanwhile, Maxigen Biotech Inc (TW:1783) added 9.99% or 3.55 points to end at 39.10 and Yageo Corp (TW:2327) was up 9.97% or 62.00 points to 684.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Accton Technology Corp (TW:2345), which fell 9.82% or 7.50 points to trade at 68.90 at the close. Tong Hsing Electronic Industries Ltd (TW:6271) declined 9.75% or 11.50 points to end at 106.50 and ITEQ Corp (TW:6213) was down 9.49% or 6.50 points to 62.00.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Taiwan Stock Exchange by 530 to 266 and 116 ended unchanged.

Shares in Maxigen Biotech Inc (TW:1783) rose to 3-years highs; rising 9.99% or 3.55 to 39.10. Shares in Yageo Corp (TW:2327) rose to all time highs; gaining 9.97% or 62.00 to 684.00.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.25% or 0.17 to $68.23 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 0.12% or 0.09 to hit $73.97 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.16% or 2.20 to trade at $1336.10 a troy ounce.

USD/TWD was up 0.20% to 29.526, while TWD/CNY fell 0.19% to 0.2134.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.08% at 90.15.

Dollar Holding Steady near 2-Week Highs

Investing.com - The dollar was holding steady near two week highs against a currency basket on Monday supported by expectations for further interest rate hikes this year, while waning geopolitical risk dampened demand for the safe haven yen.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was at 90.17 by 02:46 AM ET (06:46 AM GMT), not far from the two week high of 90.25 set on Friday.

Demand for the dollar continued to be underpinned after recent comments by Federal Reserve officials indicated rates will continue to rise in 2018 as the economy remains on a steady course.

Expectations of higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar by making the currency more attractive to yield-seeking investors.

The dollar rose to a two-month high against the yen, with USD/JPY climbing to 107.89.

The Japanese currency is often sought in times of market turmoil and political tensions and tends to decline as investor confidence returns.

North Korea said on Saturday it was suspending nuclear and missile tests and scrapping its nuclear test site ahead of planned summits with South Korea and the U.S.

Besides concerns over geopolitical risks, concerns over a trade spat between the U.S. and China also appeared to be easing.

The euro slipped lower against the dollar, with EUR/USD dipping 0.13% to 1.2271.

The euro plumbed two-week lows of 1.2249 against the dollar on Friday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterated that the bank would be cautious about removing monetary stimulus.

Sterling pushed higher, with GBP/USD rising 0.14% to 1.4021 after ending the previous week down 1.71%.

The pound fell last week after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney indicated that the central bank may not raise interest rates in May after recent weaker-than-expected wage growth and inflation data.

Asian Equities Mixed In Afternoon; Tech Stocks Under Pressure


Investing.com – Asian equities were mixed in afternoon trade on Monday, with Japan, South Korean, Hong Kong and Chinese equities extending losses while Australian equities trading in green. Meanwhile, technology stocks were under pressure.

Technology stocks remained in focus on Monday, after the U.S. imposed a ban on selling parts and software to Hong Kong-listed smartphone maker ZTE Corp (HK:0763) for seven years last week that soured sentiment toward China’s tech sector. Lenovo Group (HK:0992) Ltd slumped 2.66% to its lowest level since 2009.

On the other hand, geopolitical tensions related to North Korea may continue to ease. On Friday, North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong Un suggested he might be open to suspending nuclear tests. U.S. President Donald Trump said the North Korean nuclear crisis is far from over, but the regime's willingness to denuclearize is "great" for the world.

Despite the easing geopolitical strains, the South Korea Kospi was down 0.21% to 2471.24 at 1:09AM ET (05:09 GMT).

Hong Kong shares are coming off their fourth weekly loss in five weeks. The Hang Seng Index was down 0.34% to 30,317.

Chinese stocks were also coming off their worst week in a month. The Shanghai Composite was down 0.23% and the Shenzhen Component lost 0.78%.

Trade tensions between China and the US are still in focus. Investors are worried about the prospects for increased trade tension between China and the U.S. China’s commerce minister said the country opposes all forms of protectionism.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 0.30%. This week will see a slew of economic data from Japan, including the PMI and retail sales data and the Bank of Japan’s latest policy decision on Friday.

Down under, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.32% at 5887.50.

Cryptocurrencies’ Prices Rise; U.S. Fed Official Criticises Bitcoin

Investing.com – Cryptocurrencies’ prices gained on Monday. U.S. Federal Reserve official John Williams criticised Bitcoin, saying it can never be a proper currency. Meanwhile, Iran’s central bank took a stand against cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin was trading at $8,884.9 by 12:06AM ET (04:06GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange, up 0.64% over the previous 24 hours.

Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, gained 5.44% at $635.14 on the Bitfinex exchange.

Ripple’s XRP token traded 1.01% higher to $0.85843 on the Poloniex exchange.

Meanwhile, Litecoin added 1.31% to $147.88.

John Williams, who currently heads the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank and is expected to do so for the New York Fed, has reportedly has rejected the suggestion that cryptocurrencies comprise currency.

Williams stated that “Cryptocurrency doesn’t pass the basic test of what a currency should be.” His remark came after officials of various federal reserve banks in the U.S continued to make hostile rhetoric to the digital coins.

In early April, Federal Reserve Board of Governor member, Lael Brainard, said the institution is “monitoring is the extreme volatility evidenced by some cryptocurrencies.”

Reports that Iran's central bank has banned the country's banks from dealing in cryptocurrencies also gained attenton. The Middle Eastern country became hostile to cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin over money-laundering concerns amid efforts to halt a currency crisis.

"Banks and credit institutions and currency exchanges should avoid any sale or purchase of these currencies or taking any action to promote them," the state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday.

Mohammad Beigi, the Director of the Payment System department of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), earlier said that trading the Bitcoin at the exchange bureaus of the country is against the law.

Asian Equities Launch Week In Red

Investing.com - Asian equities launched the week mixed, with Japan, South Korean, Hong Kong and Chinese equities moving lower at or shortly after the open and Australian equities moving higher.

Earnings season is ramping up this week and there will much economic data in Japan for investors to chew on, including PMI data and the Bank of Japan’s latest policy decision on Friday.

Trade tensions between China and the U.S. are still in focus but there were suggestions that some geopolitical tensions related to North Korea may continue to ease. On Friday, North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong Un suggested he might be open to suspending nuclear tests.

Investors in Asia are also looking at a solid earning season in the U.S., where more than four-fifths of companies listed on the S&P500 that had reported earnings by Friday beating expectations.

But any cues from the U.S. were not overly optimistic. On Friday, the Dow closed down 0.82%, the S&P 500 lost 0.85% and the Nasdaq dropped 1.27% as technology stocks continued to feel downward pressure.

Some focus Monday was likely to be on technology stocks. On Friday, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) took a hit in U.S. trading, falling 4.1%, and last week Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) (TWO:5425), Apple’s main chip supplier, slumped as much as 7% after it trimmed its full year revenue target. TSMC’s miss was the big news for investors in Asia on Friday.

Investors were also keeping an eye on a move up in yields of U.S. Treasuries, a move that helped support the U.S. dollar. Yields on 10-Year Treasures inched up on Friday to 2.96%, the highest level since January 2014.

Hong Kong shares are coming off their fourth weekly loss in five weeks. Investors are worried about the prospects for increased trade tension between China and the U.S. Last week, the Hang Seng Index fell 1.3%. The Hang Seng Index was down 0.11% to 30,385 at 9:35PM ET (01:35 GMT).

Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged up at the opening but was down 0.18%. Data out on Friday showed the core consumer price index rose 0.9% year-on-year in March, a slight slowdown from a 1.0% gain in February but matching economist’s median estimates.

The South Korea Kospi was down 0.24% to 2470.82. Australia’s ASX was up 0.27% at 5884.6.

Chinese stocks were also coming off their worst week in a month, with the Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 falling 1.3% on Friday and the market was poised for further drops on Monday. It was down 0.16%.

Israel stocks higher at close of trade; TA 35 up 0.50%

Investing.com – Israel stocks were higher after the close on Sunday, as gains in the Banking, Communication and Financials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Tel Aviv, the TA 35 rose 0.50% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the TA 35 were Nice Ltd (TA:NICE), which rose 3.52% or 1180 points to trade at 34660 at the close. Meanwhile, OPKO Health Inc (TA:OPK) added 2.31% or 25 points to end at 1106 and First International Bank of Israel Ltd (TA:FTIN) was up 1.61% or 120 points to 7564 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Tower Semiconductor Ltd (TA:TSEM), which fell 6.26% or 631 points to trade at 9449 at the close. Frutarom Industries Ltd (TA:FRUT) declined 1.89% or 700 points to end at 36250 and Big Shopping Centers Ltd (TA:BIG) was down 0.87% or 200 points to 22910.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by 202 to 172 and 29 ended unchanged.

Shares in Nice Ltd (TA:NICE) rose to all time highs; rising 3.52% or 1180 to 34660.

Crude oil for June delivery was unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to $68.40 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 0.20% or 0.15 to hit $73.63 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.84% or 11.30 to trade at $1337.50 a troy ounce.

USD/ILS was up 0.26% to 3.5300, while EUR/ILS fell 0.12% to 4.3372.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.49% at 90.08.

United Arab Emirates stocks lower at close of trade; DFM General down 0.08%

Investing.com – United Arab Emirates stocks were lower after the close on Sunday, as losses in the Telecoms, Insurance and Finance&Investment sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Dubai, the DFM General lost 0.08%, while the ADX General index fell 0.51%.

The best performers of the session on the DFM General were Amanat Holdings PJSC (DU:AMANT), which rose 2.94% or 0.040 points to trade at 1.400 at the close. Meanwhile, Deyaar Development PJSC (DU:DEYR) added 1.51% or 0.007 points to end at 0.470 and AJMAN BANK PJSC (DU:AJBNK) was up 1.00% or 0.010 points to 1.010 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Gulf General Investments Company (DU:GGIC), which fell 6.69% or 0.018 points to trade at 0.251 at the close. Marka Pjse (DU:MARKA) declined 3.93% or 0.01 points to end at 0.32 and SHUAA Capital PSC (DU:SHUA) was down 2.48% or 0.025 points to 0.985.

The top performers on the ADX General were Sharjah Cement AD (AD:SCID) which rose 10.19% to 1.190, Al Khazna Ins (AD:AKIC) which was up 4.35% to settle at 0.240 and International Holding Company PJSC (AD:IHC) which gained 3.62% to close at 1.43.

The worst performers were Union Insurance Co PSC (AD:UNIN) which was down 9.35% to 1.26 in late trade, Green Crs Ins (AD:GCIC) which lost 6.98% to settle at 0.800 and Invest Bank AD (AD:INVB) which was down 4.27% to 2.240 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Dubai Stock Exchange by 22 to 12 and 3 ended unchanged; on the Abu Dhabi, 15 fell and 8 advanced, while 8 ended unchanged.

Shares in Gulf General Investments Company (DU:GGIC) fell to 5-year lows; down 6.69% or 0.018 to 0.251. Shares in Marka Pjse (DU:MARKA) fell to all time lows; down 3.93% or 0.01 to 0.32. Shares in SHUAA Capital PSC (DU:SHUA) fell to 52-week lows; losing 2.48% or 0.025 to 0.985.

Crude oil for June delivery was unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to $68.40 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 0.20% or 0.15 to hit $73.63 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.84% or 11.30 to trade at $1337.50 a troy ounce.

USD/AED was up 0.00% to 3.6730, while EUR/AED fell 0.43% to 4.5141.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.49% at 90.08.

Weekly Outlook: April 23 - 27

Investing.com - Investors will be awaiting an update on the health of the U.S. and UK economies this week ahead of Friday’s data on first quarter growth. Monetary policy meetings in the euro zone and Japan will also be in focus.

The European Central Bank is widely expected to leave monetary policy unchanged after its meeting on Thursday, but investors will be on the lookout for signs that the bank is moving closer to exiting its stimulus program.

The dollar rose to two week highs against a currency basket on Friday, boosted by expectations for a faster pace of rate hikes by the Federal Reserve this year while dovish comments by central bank officials weighed on sterling and the euro.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.49% at 90.08 late Friday, after rising as high as 90.25 earlier, the most since April 6. For the week, the index was up 0.65%.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said Thursday that steady interest-rate rises are needed this year and next to keep the economy from overheating.

Her comments boosted expectations that the Fed will raise rates at a faster pace than markets currently expect this year.

Expectations of higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar by making the currency more attractive to yield-seeking investors.

Sterling fell to fresh two-week lows against the dollar on Friday after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney indicated that the central bank may not raise interest rates in May, in the wake of recent “mixed” economic data.

GBP/USD was down 0.6% at 1.4001 late Friday, for a weekly decline of 1.71%.

Earlier in the week the pound had surged to a post Brexit high of 1.4376 before weaker-than-expected wage growth and inflation data tempered rate hike bets.

The euro plumbed two-week lows against the dollar on Friday after ECB President Mario Draghi reiterated that the bank would be cautious about removing monetary stimulus.

EUR/USD was down 0.47% at 1.2288 in late trade, after falling as low as 1.2250 earlier, for a weekly loss of 0.36%.

The dollar was higher against the yen, with USD/JPY rising 0.28% to 107.65, after hitting a two-month high of 107.86 earlier.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars fell to two-week lows, pressured lower by declining Chinese stocks, which have been hit by lingering worries over the simmering trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

AUD/USD was down 0.74% to 0.7671 late Friday, while NZD/USD lost 0.89% to trade at 0.7205.

Investors will continue to monitor trade and geopolitical developments in the coming week.

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

Monday, April 23

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

The U.S. is to report on existing home sales.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is to testify before the House of Commons finance committee in Ottawa.

Tuesday, April 24

Australia is to release data on inflation.

The Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.

The U.S. is to release data on consumer confidence.

Wednesday, April 25

Financial markets in Australia will remain closed for a holiday.

BoC Governor Stephen Poloz is to testify before the Senate banking committee in Ottawa.

Thursday, April 26

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 release reports on durable goods orders and initial jobless claims.

Friday, April 27

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are expected to hold a summit meeting to discuss de-nuclearization and a peace treaty.

The Bank of Japan 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.

Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan is to speak at an event in Bern.

The UK is to release preliminary data on first quarter economic growth as well as revised data on consumer sentiment.

The U.S. is to publish advance data on first quarter growth.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is to speak at an event in London.

Peru stocks higher at close of trade; S&P Lima General up 0.19%

Investing.com – Peru stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the S&P Lima Juniors, Industrials and Non-Metal Minerals sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Lima, the S&P Lima General rose 0.19% to hit a new 5-year high.

The best performers of the session on the S&P Lima General were Andino Investment Holding SAA (LM:AIH), which rose 3.86% or 0.110 points to trade at 2.960 at the close. Meanwhile, Panoro (LM:PML) added 3.33% or 0.009 points to end at 0.279 and PPX Mining Corp (LM:PPX) was unchanged 1.41% or 0.00 points to 0.07 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Relapasa (LM:REL), which fell 2.52% or 0.008 points to trade at 0.310 at the close. Cerro Verde (LM:CVE) declined 1.36% or 0.400 points to end at 29.000 and Buenaventura (LM:BVN) was down 1.26% or 0.210 points to 16.500.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Lima Stock Exchange by 18 to 12 and 14 ended unchanged.

Shares in PPX Mining Corp (LM:PPX) unchanged to 52-week highs; unchanged 1.41% or 0.00 to 0.07.

Crude oil for May delivery was down 0.01% or 0.01 to $68.28 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 0.20% or 0.15 to hit $73.63 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.84% or 11.30 to trade at $1337.50 a troy ounce.

USD/PEN was down 0.04% to 3.2185, while EUR/PEN fell 0.26% to 3.9643.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.49% at 90.08.

Mexico stocks lower at close of trade; S&P/BMV IPC down 0.64%

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

At the close in Mexico, the S&P/BMV IPC declined 0.64%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/BMV IPC were Grupo LALA SA de CV (MX:LALAB), which rose 1.39% or 0.34 points to trade at 24.80 at the close. Meanwhile, Gentera SAB de CV (MX:GENTERA) added 1.13% or 0.170 points to end at 15.240 and Grupo Elektra , S.A.B. De C.V. (MX:ELEKTRA) was up 0.96% or 4.97 points to 520.70 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were VOLARIS A (MX:VOLARA), which fell 18.87% or 3.05 points to trade at 13.11 at the close. El Puerto De Liverpool Sab De CV (MX:LIVEPOLC1) declined 2.65% or 3.56 points to end at 130.84 and Infraestructura Energetica Nova SAB (MX:IENOVA) was down 2.36% or 2.04 points to 84.37.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Mexico Stock Exchange by 161 to 120 and 9 ended unchanged.

Shares in VOLARIS A (MX:VOLARA) fell to 3-years lows; falling 18.87% or 3.05 to 13.11. Shares in Infraestructura Energetica Nova SAB (MX:IENOVA) fell to 52-week lows; losing 2.36% or 2.04 to 84.37.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.79% or 10.70 to $1338.10 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.01% or 0.01 to hit $68.28 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 0.07% or 0.05 to trade at $73.73 a barrel.

USD/MXN was up 0.48% to 18.5404, while EUR/MXN rose 0.03% to 22.7832.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.46% at 90.05.

Canada stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/TSX Composite up 0.44%

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

At the close in Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite added 0.44%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/TSX Composite were NexGen Energy Ltd. (TO:NXE), which rose 6.20% or 0.160 points to trade at 2.740 at the close. Meanwhile, Rogers Communications Inc (TO:RCIb) added 5.85% or 3.39 points to end at 61.34 and Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TO:TRQ) was up 4.66% or 0.180 points to 4.040 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Cascades Inc . (TO:CAS), which fell 5.00% or 0.67 points to trade at 12.72 at the close. Trican Well Service Ltd . (TO:TCW) declined 4.20% or 0.140 points to end at 3.190 and Aphria Inc (TO:APH) was down 3.64% or 0.400 points to 10.600.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Toronto Stock Exchange by 612 to 483 and 124 ended unchanged.

The S&P/TSX 60 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/TSX Composite options, was up 0.33% to 15.39.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.77% or 10.40 to $1338.40 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.01% or 0.01 to hit $68.28 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.04% or 0.03 to trade at $73.81 a barrel.

CAD/USD was down 0.65% to 0.7841, while CAD/EUR fell 0.17% to 0.6381.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.47% at 90.06.

Crude Oil Prices Shrug Off Trump's OPEC Blast to Settle Higher

Investing.com - Crude oil prices settled at nearly three-and-a-half year highs as the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee confirmed OPEC and its allies compliance with the deal to curb production rose to its highest ever, further stoking expectations for market rebalancing later this year.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for May delivery rose 9 cents to settle at $68.38 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent rose 0.22% to trade at $73.94 a barrel.

Crude oil prices settled higher, shrugging off earlier weakness which followed a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump, in which he suggested that OPEC was keeping oil prices artificially high, insisting that it would not be accepted.

A jump in the number of oil rigs operating in the U.S. to the highest level in three years, pointing to an expansion in U.S. output, meanwhile, had a subdued impact on oil prices in the wake of continued optimism on oil prices.

The combination of strong momentum in developed markets and accelerating emerging market growth will combine to keep oil demand growth above consensus expectations, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) said.

Goldman Sachs forecasts 2018 year-on-year oil demand growth at 1.85 million barrels per day, and Brent rising to $80 a barrel between the second and fourth quarter of the year.

Sentiment on oil prices were also boosted by confirmation of deeper OPEC-led production cuts after the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee confirmed that compliance is at its highest ever.

In November 2016, OPEC and other producers, including Russia agreed to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to slash global inventories to the five year-average. The OPEC-led deal was renewed last year through 2018.

OPEC will meet in June to decide whether to extend the production-cut agreement despite expectations the glut in global supplies have shrunk to levels just above the oil cartel's target.

The production-cut agreement deal led to a sharp fall in excess crude supplies, which stood at just 12 million barrels above the five-year average in March, Reuters reported Thursday, citing a source familiar with the matter.

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