Stocks Gain, Dollar Drops

Stocks advanced at the end of a tumultuous week, even as the rally stalled as the dollar declined against most major peers and Treasury yields dropped.

Shares in Japan erased most gains of more than 1 percent to spend the second half of Friday’s session fluctuating before ending fractionally higher as the yen jumped to a four-week high against the dollar. Equity gauges in Hong Kong and Australia rose, while Chinese stocks traded in Shanghai fell. Indian stocks and the currency advanced after Moody’s Investors Service raised the nation’s credit rating. The dollar is set to fall for a second week. Treasuries climbed as the special counsel probe into Russian influence on the 2016 U.S. election deepened.

Bitcoin hit another record high just days after a plunge of as much as 29 percent. Commodities bounced after a recent sell-off. The S&P 500 Index rose to within a percentage point of a record amid rising odds of U.S. corporate tax cuts, and as results from Cisco Systems Inc. boosted tech shares and earnings from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spurred consumer staples.

India’s rupee climbed as much as 1 percent and the S&P BSE Sensex gained 1 percent. Moody’s raised the nation’s sovereign bond rating for the first time since 2004, citing continued progress in economic and institutional reforms.

As Washington took one step closer to tax reform and China’s central bank injected the most cash since January into its financial system this week, investors bet resilient global growth and strong earnings forecasts warrant sticking it out in equities. Testing valuations had contributed to investors paring back some exposure after global shares reached record highs earlier this month. The Topix index in Tokyo dropped for five sessions to Wednesday in its longest run of declines this year that came after 25-year highs were tested, before bouncing back on Thursday.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller served U.S. President Donald Trump’s election campaign a subpoena in mid-October, according to two people familiar with the matter, in the latest sign that his criminal investigation is aggressively pursuing links between campaign officials and Russia.

Chances that U.S. firms will get a tax break appeared to improve after Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who had declared his opposition to the Senate’s tax plan, said he is optimistic his concerns can be addressed. The House passed its version of the bill Thursday.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller served U.S. President Donald Trump’s election campaign a subpoena in mid-October, according to two people familiar with the matter, in the latest sign that his criminal investigation is aggressively pursuing links between campaign officials and Russia.

Chances that U.S. firms will get a tax break appeared to improve after Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who had declared his opposition to the Senate’s tax plan, said he is optimistic his concerns can be addressed. The House passed its version of the bill Thursday.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

· Euro Stoxx 50 futures were up 0.1 percent in early European trading. S&P 500 Index futures lost 0.1 percent. The main gauge gained 0.8 percent on Thursday, the steepest rally in two months.

· The Topix climbed 0.1 percent at the close for the week in Tokyo, after advancing as much as 1.2 percent. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.2 percent, trimming a gain of 1.8 percent earlier. Both gauges declined for the week, with the Topix ending its worst week since April.

· Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.2 percent and the Kospi index in Seoul was little changed.

· Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.6 percent.

· The Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.5 percent, headed for its worst week since August.

· The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.5 percent, trimming its first weekly decline in seven.

Currencies

· The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2 percent.

· The yen jumped 0.4 percent to 112.58 per dollar.

· The euro gained 0.2 percent to $1.1798. The pound traded up 0.3 percent to $1.3232.

· The Australian dollar dropped 0.3 percent to 75.65 U.S. cents, its lowest since the end of June, and the New Zealand dollar pulled back 0.3 percent to 68.31 U.S. cents.

· The Korean won extended a rally, rising 0.3 percent to 1,097.55 per dollar. It broke past 1,100 on Thursday to touch the highest since September 2016.

Bonds

· The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell two basis points to 2.35 percent after adding five basis points on Thursday.

· German 10-year bund yields were little changed at 0.37 percent.

Commodities

· West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.3 percent to $55.33 a barrel. It’s heading for its first weekly loss since the start of October.

· Gold increased 0.3 percent to $1,282.35 an ounce.

· The Bloomberg Commodity Index gained 0.2 percent, rising for the first time in seven days. LME nickel rose 1.3 percent,

Source: Bloomberg

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