Dow posts record closing high, global stocks gain for 3rd week; dollar dips

Stocks came under pressure after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the US central bank was “on track” to begin reducing its purchases of assets. — Reuters pic
Stocks came under pressure after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the US central bank was “on track” to begin reducing its purchases of assets. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Oct 23 — The Dow Jones industrial average registered a record closing high yesterday and major equity indexes posted a third straight week of gains while the US dollar slipped.

On the day, MSCI’s broadest gauge of global shares was flat, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended lower.

Stocks came under pressure after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the US central bank was “on track” to begin reducing its purchases of assets.

Intel’s stock fell 11.7 per cent and was among the biggest drags on the S&P 500. Late Thursday, Intel reported sales that missed expectations and pointed to shortages of chips holding back sales of its flagship processors.

American Express Co’s stock gained, boosting the Dow after the company beat profit estimates for the fourth straight quarter.

Next week brings reports from several key mega-cap names including Amazon.

The dollar pared losses after Powell’s comments, but the dollar index was last down 0.10 per cent at 93.64, and is off from a one-year high of 94.56 last week.

“There’s a bit of a positioning unwind taking place. We’ve obviously seen a firmer dollar since the September” Fed meeting, said Mazen Issa, senior FX strategist at TD Securities in New York. “That also dovetails with the seasonal tendency for the dollar to soften into the end of the month.”

Investors also digested news that China Evergrande Group appeared to avert default with a source saying it made a last-minute bond coupon payment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 73.94 points, or 0.21 per cent, to 35,677.02, the S&P 500 lost 4.88 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 4,544.9 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 125.50 points, or 0.82 per cent, to 15,090.20.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.46 per cent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.03 per cent.

The MSCI index posted gains for a third straight week along with the three major US stock indexes.

In the US bond market, yields on longer-dated US Treasuries slid.

The yield on 10-year Treasury notes was down 1.6 basis points to 1.659 per cent after rising to a five-month high of 1.7064 per cent late Thursday.

Oil rose and ended up for the week, near multi-year highs. Brent crude futures rose 92 cents to settle at US$85.53 (RM354.95) a barrel, and registered its seventh weekly gain. US crude futures gained US$1.26, to settle at US$83.76, and rose for a ninth straight week.

Spot gold was up 0.6 per cent at US$1,793.82 per ounce.

Among cryptocurrencies, bitcoin last fell 2.21 per cent to US$60,841.96. — Reuters