Economy

Wall Street stock rally could be derailed by war of words

Wall Street stock rally could be derailed by war of words

USA stocks closed higher on Friday as Wall Street clawed back from a sharp decline in the previous session but the market still posted a weekly loss on lingering geopolitical uncertainties. Biotech companies Celgene and Amgen lost 3.8 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively. However, any signs that the U.S.is preparing for an attack on North Korea and/or the actual launching of missiles by North Korea would likely lead to more significant selling pressure. It's still the highest it's been since May. The collapse of sterling after the Brexit vote previous year helped boost profits by 16%, the company said, adding that strong United Kingdom operations and acquisitions had also contributed to the rise.

The 30-year bond last /32 in price to yield 2.7933 percent, from 2.794 percent late on Thursday.

Avis Budget Group slumped 9.9 percent after the auto rental company cut its guidance following a weak second quarter.

But safe havens benefited from the move away from stocks with gold rising by just under one percent after surging 1.3 percent Wednesday.

The strength on Wall Street is partly due to bargain hunting, with traders picking up stocks at reduced levels following the pullback seen over the past few sessions.

Benchmark U.S. crude was down 21 cents to $48.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $1.61 a gallon, while heating oil was little changed at $1.63 a gallon. Brent crude, used to price global oils, was down 35 cents to $51.55 a barrel in London. Natural gas was also flat at $2.98 per 1,000 cubic feet.

As a result, on Wednesday evening the VIX volatility index, having recently hit an all-time low, spiked from 9.54 just after Europe went home and around 10 when the comments hit the wires to reach a peak of 11.29 with 30 minutes left in the USA session before closing at 10.96.

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US gold futures gained 0.26 percent to $1,293.50 an ounce.

Meantime, on the commodity front oil prices fell 2 per cent while gold has maintained its two month high.

Nvidia Corp.(NVDA) shares fell 5.3%, even after the chip maker posted upbeat earnings late Thursday.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 17 points, or 0.29 percent, on volume of 36,232 contracts.

The dollar index fell 0.3 percent, with the euro up 0.36 percent to $1.1812.

In Asia, several indexes closed lower overnight.

Germany's DAX was flat, while France's CAC 40 fell 1.1 percent. South Korea's Kospi lost 1.7%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 2%.

The Dow fell more than 200 points, a almost 1% drop, and its biggest dip in three months. Japan was closed on a public holiday.