MARKET REVIEW

Asian shares mixed with China getting a boost

Investing.com - Asian shares were mixed on Monday in thin regionl trade that saw Mainland China get a boost.

In Australia, the ASX 200 fell 1%. The heavily-weighted financials subindex was down 1.28 percent as major banking stocks came under pressure. Shares of ANZ were down 1.26%, Commonwealth Bank fell 0.96%, Westpac eased 1.54% and the National Australia Bank slid 1.44%

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.84% The Shanghai composite bucked the generally downward trend to trade up 0.11%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index traded up 0.46%.

Last week, U.S. stocks retreated from record highs, on the back of growing U.S. political jitters and an earnings report from General Electric (NYSE:GE) that undershot Wall Street estimates dragging the broader market lower.

The political scandal engulfing President Trump heated up on Friday, after Special counsel Robert Mueller asked the White House to preserve all documents relating to the June 2016 meeting that Trump and other associated had with a Russian Lawyer.

Also weighing on sentiment was a tumble in energy, following a 2.5% slump in crude prices ahead of the Opec meeting on July 24.

Analysts, however, expect earnings to be the main catalyst as earnings season is set to gather pace with about 170 S&P 500 constituents scheduled to report next week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower at 21,580.07. The S&P 500 0.04% lower while the Nasdaq Composite closed at 9387.75, down 0.15%.

PBOC sets yuan midpoint at 6.7441

Investing.com - The People's Bank of China set the yuan mid-point at 6.7410 the dollar on Monday, compared to the previous close of 6.7661.

The China Foreign Exchange Trade System sets the weighted average of prices given by market makers. The highest and lowest offers are excluded from the calculation. The central bank allows the dollar/yuan rate to move no more than 2% above or below the central parity rate.

Market watchers see a yuan level of 7 against the dollar, USD/CNY, as a key touchstone for sentiment in the near term.

Last week, U.S. stocks retreated from record highs, on the back of growing U.S. political jitters.

Crude down in Asia on OPEC glut ahead of review meeting

Investing.com - Crude oil prices eased in Asia on Monday ahead of a July 24 meeting on OPEC and allies to review progress on output cuts and a weaker dollar as the Fed gets set to give its latest views on rates this week.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude September eased 0.17% to $45.69 a barrel. On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for September delivery was last quoted sharply down at $47.88 a barrel.

On Wednesday, the Fed will give its latest views on rates ahead of the first look at U.S. second quarter growth on Friday.

Last week, oil prices settled lower for the second session in a row on Friday, ending at its weakest level in about a week as sentiment soured amid indications that supply from OPEC was set to rise, despite the cartel's agreement to curb production.

Oil sank on Friday after tanker-tracking firm PetroLogistics said crude output from OPEC members was set to rise by 145,000 barrels a day in July from a month earlier.

The increase in oil supply would push production above 33 million barrels per day, due to increased output from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria.

The news comes ahead of a highly-anticipated meeting of some oil ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Russia on Monday, who are gathering to discuss compliance with the cartel's deal to cut production.

Market experts say the ministers will likely recommend maintaining the policy of holding back output at current levels, but efforts will be made to bring Nigeria and Libya into the framework due to the recent recovery of their production.

In May, OPEC and some non-OPEC producers extended an agreement to slash 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018. So far, the agreement has had little impact on global inventory levels due to rising supply from producers not participating in the accord, such as Libya and Nigeria.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., weekly figures from energy services company Baker Hughes showed that the number of active rigs drilling for oil declined by 1 to 764 last week, suggesting early signs of moderating domestic production growth.

The count is often seen as proxy for the outlook on domestic production.

Israel stocks lower at close of trade; TA 35 down 0.38%

Investing.com – Israel stocks were lower after the close on Sunday, as losses in the Banking, Oil&Gas and Financials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Tel Aviv, the TA 35 declined 0.38%.

The best performers of the session on the TA 35 were OPKO Health Inc (TA:OPK), which rose 2.24% or 51 points to trade at 2328 at the close. Meanwhile, Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp Ltd (TA:BEZQ) added 1.87% or 9.9 points to end at 540.0 and Perrigo (TA:PRGO) was up 1.66% or 440 points to 26970 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Tower Semiconductor Ltd (TA:TSEM), which fell 1.87% or 183 points to trade at 9578 at the close. Sodastream International Ltd (TA:SODA) declined 1.59% or 330.0 points to end at 20400.0 and Isramco Negev 2 LP (TA:ISRAp) was down 1.48% or 0.8 points to 53.2.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by 226 to 162 and 22 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for September delivery was down 2.77% or 1.30 to $45.62 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in September fell 2.88% or 1.42 to hit $47.88 a barrel, while the August Gold Futures contract rose 0.72% or 8.98 to trade at $1254.48 a troy ounce.

USD/ILS was up 0.40% to 3.5696, while EUR/ILS rose 0.67% to 4.1626.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.32% at 93.78.

Saudi Arabia stocks higher at close of trade; Tadawul All Share up 0.03%

Investing.com – Saudi Arabia stocks were higher after the close on Sunday, as gains in the Retail, Multi Investment and Agriculture&Food sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul All Share gained 0.03%.

The best performers of the session on the Tadawul All Share were United Electronics Company (SE:4003), which rose 10.15% or 3.75 points to trade at 40.70 at the close. Meanwhile, Malath Cooperative Insurance Co (SE:8020) added 9.80% or 2.32 points to end at 26.00 and Allied Cooperative Insurance Group (SE:8150) was up 5.80% or 0.80 points to 14.60 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Saudi United Cooperative Insurance (SE:8060), which fell 3.44% or 1.05 points to trade at 29.45 at the close. United Wire Factories Company (SE:1301) declined 3.04% or 0.58 points to end at 18.48 and Bupa Arabia for Coop. Insurance (SE:8210) was down 2.84% or 3.60 points to 123.20.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Saudi Arabia Stock Exchange by 86 to 79 and 15 ended unchanged.

Shares in United Electronics Company (SE:4003) rose to 52-week highs; up 10.15% or 3.75 to 40.70.

Crude oil for September delivery was down 2.77% or 1.30 to $45.62 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in September fell 2.88% or 1.42 to hit $47.88 a barrel, while the August Gold Futures contract rose 0.72% or 8.98 to trade at $1254.48 a troy ounce.

EUR/SAR was up 0.27% to 4.3737, while USD/SAR rose 0.01% to 3.7501.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.32% at 93.78.

United Arab Emirates stocks mixed at close of trade; DFM General up 0.64%

Investing.com – United Arab Emirates stocks were mixed after the close on Sunday, as gains in the Finance&Investment, Insurance and Banking sectors led shares higher while losses in the Consumer Staples, Transport and Telecoms sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Dubai, the DFM General added 0.64%, while the ADX General index declined 0.39%.

The best performers of the session on the DFM General were AJMAN BANK PJSC (DU:AJBNK), which rose 7.76% or 0.090 points to trade at 1.250 at the close. Meanwhile, Takaful Emarat PSC (DU:TKFE) added 4.39% or 0.100 points to end at 2.380 and Dubai Investments PJSC (DU:DINV) was up 4.33% or 0.100 points to 2.410 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Deyaar Development PJSC (DU:DEYR), which fell 2.03% or 0.011 points to trade at 0.532 at the close. DXB Entertainments (P.J.S.C.) (DU:DXBE) declined 1.18% or 0.009 points to end at 0.756 and Arabtec Holding PJSC (DU:ARTC) was down 1.13% or 0.040 points to 3.510.

The top performers on the ADX General were Union Natl Bk (AD:UNB) which rose 2.40% to 4.690, Natl Bk Of Rak (AD:RAKB) which was up 2.30% to settle at 4.45 and Rak Properties (AD:RPRO) which gained 1.49% to close at 0.680.

The worst performers were Al Khazna Ins (AD:AKIC) which was down 9.76% to 0.370 in late trade, Ad Aviation (AD:ADAV) which lost 9.70% to settle at 2.700 and Aldar Properti (AD:ALDR) which was down 2.51% to 2.330 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Dubai Stock Exchange by 20 to 11 and 6 ended unchanged; on the Abu Dhabi, 13 fell and 9 advanced, while 4 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for September delivery was down 2.77% or 1.30 to $45.62 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in September fell 2.88% or 1.42 to hit $47.88 a barrel, while the August Gold Futures contract rose 0.72% or 8.98 to trade at $1254.48 a troy ounce.

USD/AED was unchanged 0.00% to 3.6730, while EUR/AED rose 0.27% to 4.2838.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.32% at 93.78.

Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: July 24 - 28

Investing.com - Gold prices rose for a sixth straight session on Friday, to notch up the largest weekly gain in two months as the U.S. dollar slid to its lowest level in more than a year, underpinning demand for the precious metal.

Gold for August delivery closed up 0.72% at $1,254.48 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, the precious metal was up 1.97%.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, ended down 0.32% at 93.78, the lowest close since June 22, 2016.

The index ended the week down 1.32%, marking its second straight weekly decline.

A weaker dollar tends to boost prices for gold, which is denominated in the U.S. currency.

The greenback was pressured lower by the stronger euro, which was boosted by expectations that the European Central Bank is moving closer to tapering its bond-buying program and fresh political turmoil in Washington.

On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that the investigation into alleged links between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia in last year’s election is extending into his business.

Earlier in the week, Republican lawmakers pulled the plug on the latest version of a contentious bill to replace Obamacare, delivering a major policy blow to the Trump administration.

The failure to deliver on healthcare reform indicated that Trump’s other legislative efforts, such as overhauling the tax code and implementing fiscal stimulus could face difficulties.

Hopes for tax reforms and fiscal stimulus under the Trump administration helped drive the dollar to a 14-year high after the November election. The dollar has now given up all of its post-election gains.

Doubts over the Federal Reserve’s plans for a third rate hike this year have also fed into dollar weakness. The Fed is to hold its next meeting on Wednesday and is widely expected to hold policy steady.

Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver rose 0.92% to $16.49 a troy ounce late Friday, while copper was up 0.33% to $2.725 a pound

Platinum rose 0.49% to $937.8 a troy ounce, while palladium was down 0.42% to $844.03 a troy ounce.

In the week ahead, investors will be awaiting the outcome of Wednesday’s Fed meeting, ahead of data on Friday which will give the first look at U.S. second quarter growth.

Survey data from the euro zone on Monday will help gauge the strength of the ongoing recovery in the euro area. The UK is to release data on second quarter growth on Wednesday.

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

Monday, July 24

The euro zone is to publish survey data on private sector business activity.

Canada is to report on wholesale sales.

The U.S. is to release figures on existing home sales.

Tuesday, July 25

The Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.

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

Wednesday, July 26

Australia is to release data on consumer price inflation.

The UK is to release preliminary data on second quarter economic growth.

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

The Fed is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.

Thursday, July 27

The U.S. is to release data on jobless claims and durable goods orders.

Friday, July 28

In the euro zone, Germany is to release preliminary inflation data.

Canada is to release monthly data on economic growth.

The U.S. is to round up the week with advance data on second quarter growth.

Weekly outlook: July 24 - 28

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar fell to its lowest level in more than a year against a basket of the other major currencies on Friday, pressured lower by the stronger euro and persistent concerns over U.S. political uncertainty.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, ended down 0.32% at 93.78, the lowest close since June 22, 2016.

The index ended the week down 1.32%, marking its second straight weekly decline.

The euro rose to its highest level in nearly two years against the dollar, with EUR/USD hitting highs of 1.1683, the most since September 2015. It was last at 1.1663, having gained 1.65% for the week.

The euro was propelled higher by expectations that the European Central Bank is moving closer to tapering its bond-buying program.

On Thursday, ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank will discuss when to trim its asset purchase program in the fall.

The dollar was also hit by fresh political turmoil in Washington.

On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that the investigation into alleged links between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia in last year’s election is extending into his business.

Earlier in the week, Republican lawmakers pulled the plug on the latest version of a contentious bill to replace Obamacare, delivering a major policy blow to the Trump administration.

The failure to deliver on healthcare reform indicated that Trump’s other legislative efforts, such as overhauling the tax code and implementing fiscal stimulus could face difficulties.

Hopes for tax reforms and fiscal stimulus under the Trump administration helped drive the dollar to a 14-year high after the November election. The dollar has now given up all of its post-election gains.

Doubts over the Federal Reserve’s plans for a third rate hike this year have also fed into dollar weakness. The Fed is to hold its next meeting on Wednesday and is widely expected to hold policy steady.

Against the yen, the dollar fell to a more than one-month low of 111.02. USD/JPY was last at 111.12.

Sterling was a touch higher against the dollar, with GBP/USD rising 0.15% to 1.2993 late Friday.

In the week ahead, investors will be awaiting the outcome of Wednesday’s Fed meeting, ahead of data on Friday which will give the first look at U.S. second quarter growth.

Survey data from the euro zone on Monday will help gauge the strength of the ongoing recovery in the euro area. The UK is to release data on second quarter growth on Wednesday.

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

Monday, July 24

The euro zone is to publish survey data on private sector business activity.

Canada is to report on wholesale sales.

The U.S. is to release figures on existing home sales.

Tuesday, July 25

The Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.

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

Wednesday, July 26

Australia is to release data on consumer price inflation.

The UK is to release preliminary data on second quarter economic growth.

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

The Fed is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.

Thursday, July 27

The U.S. is to release data on jobless claims and durable goods orders.

Friday, July 28

In the euro zone, Germany is to release preliminary inflation data.

Canada is to release monthly data on economic growth.

The U.S. is to round up the week with advance data on second quarter growth.

The week ahead: 5 things to watch on the economic calendar

Investing.com - In the week ahead, global financial markets will focus on the outcome of Wednesday's Federal Reserve policy meeting for any new insight on the timing of the next U.S. rate hike and clues on how the central bank plans to pare back its massive balance sheet.

There are also several key U.S. economic reports, with the biggest being second quarter GDP due on Friday.

Meanwhile, in Europe, market players will eye flash survey data on euro zone business activity to gauge the strength of the region's economy and how it will impact the timing of when the European Central Bank will start unwinding its asset purchase program.

In the U.K., investors will await the first estimate of U.K. second quarter GDP for further hints on the health of the economy and the likelihood of the Bank of England raising interest rates this year.

Elsewhere, traders will pay close attention to second quarter inflation data from Australia as they look for more clues on the health of the economy and the timing of a potential rise in borrowing costs.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of the five biggest events on the economic calendar that are most likely to affect the markets.

1. Federal Reserve rate decision

The Federal Reserve is not expected to take action on interest rates at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting at 2:00PM ET (1800GMT) on Wednesday, keeping it in a range between 1.0%-1.25%.

The central bank will release its post-meeting statement as investors look for any change in language which could point more clearly to a rate hike in the months ahead.

Market players will also pay close attention to details of when and how the Fed will start reducing its $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

According to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool, conviction for another rate hike before the end of the year has faded, with just 35% of market players expecting another move by December, as the subdued inflation outlook raised doubts over whether policymakers will be able to stick to their planned tightening path.

2. U.S. advanced 2nd quarter GDP

The U.S. is to release preliminary figures on second quarter economic growth at 8:30AM ET (1230GMT) Friday.

The report is expected to show that the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.6% in the April-June quarter, improving from growth of 1.4% in the first quarter.

Besides the GDP report, this week's calendar also features U.S. data on both existing and new home sales, as well as consumer confidence, durable goods orders and weekly jobless claims.

Focus will also be on headlines coming out of Washington, where the Senate is expected to continue working to repeal Obamacare. The investigation into U.S. President Donald Trump campaign's ties to Russia will continue to get attention.

For the stock market, investors will digest a heavy week of earnings, with more than a third of the S&P 500 companies and 13 Dow stocks set to post results.

FANG names - Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) - will garner most of the attention, as will Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), United Technologies (NYSE:UTX), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) and Boeing (NYSE:BA).

3. Flash euro zone PMIs

The euro zone is to publish preliminary data on manufacturing and service sector activity for July at 0800GMT (4:00AM ET) on Monday, amid expectations for a modest decline.

Ahead of the euro zone PMI's, France and Germany will release their own PMI reports at 0700GMT and 0730GMT respectively.

In addition to the PMI data, there is also an IFO survey on German business morale as well as preliminary German inflation data on the docket.

Last week, the European Central Bank kept borrowing costs at record lows and called for patience and persistence in getting inflation back up to its target. Central bank chief Mario Draghi added that discussions on the future of the bank’s asset purchase program would take place in the fall.

4. U.K. preliminary Q2 GDP

The Office for National Statistics is to produce preliminary data on U.K. economic growth for the second quarter at 0830GMT (4:30AM ET) on Wednesday.

The report is forecast to reveal the economy grew 0.3% in the three months ended June 30, after expanding 0.2% in the previous three-month period. On an annualized rate, the British economy is expected to grow 1.7% in the second quarter, slowing from growth of 2.0% in the preceding quarter.

Comments from Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane on Tuesday will also be in focus.

Some BOE policymakers have started to call for higher interest rates in the months ahead due to the recent surge in inflation, which was caused largely by the plunge in sterling following last year's Brexit vote.

5. Australia second quarter CPI

Australia is to publish data on second quarter consumer price inflation at 0130GMT on Wednesday (9:30PM ET Tuesday). The data is expected to show that inflation increased 0.4% in the April-to-June period, after rising 0.5% in the first three months of the year.

Trimmed mean CPI, which excludes the most volatile 30% of items in the broad CPI calculation, is projected to climb 0.5%.

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe is due to deliver a speech titled "The Labor Market and Monetary Policy" at the Anika Foundation Luncheon, in Sydney shortly after the release of the CPI data.

Minutes of the RBA's July meeting published last week revealed that the central bank turned more upbeat on the economic outlook, citing an improving labor market, stronger public investment and a pick-up in household consumption.

Futures market now implied a 24% chance of a rate rise by December, up from just 8% previously.

Stay up-to-date on all of this week's economic events by visiting: http://www.investing.com/economic-calendar/

U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.15%

Investing.com – U.S. stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Oil&Gas, Technology and Industrials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.15%, while the S&P 500 index declined 0.04%, and the NASDAQ Composite index fell 0.04%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Visa Inc (NYSE:V), which rose 1.52% or 1.49 points to trade at 99.60 at the close. Meanwhile, Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) added 1.44% or 0.85 points to end at 59.95 and Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) was up 0.88% or 1.86 points to 212.14 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), which fell 2.92% or 0.78 points to trade at 25.91 at the close. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) declined 1.32% or 1.38 points to end at 103.25 and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) was down 0.95% or 2.12 points to 220.18.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS) which rose 9.19% to 138.43, Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF) which was up 8.55% to settle at 87.94 and E-TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:ETFC) which gained 5.13% to close at 41.63.

The worst performers were Helmerich&Payne Inc (NYSE:HP) which was down 5.47% to 54.13 in late trade, Intuitive Surgical Inc (NASDAQ:ISRG) which lost 4.55% to settle at 927.47 and Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ:HBAN) which was down 4.35% to 12.97 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were TearLab Corp (NASDAQ:TEAR) which rose 89.77% to 3.3400, Top Ships Inc (NASDAQ:TOPS) which was up 25.00% to settle at 0.2600 and ESSA Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:EPIX) which gained 26.22% to close at 0.310.

The worst performers were DryShips Inc (NASDAQ:DRYS) which was down 27.91% to 2.17 in late trade, Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PTX) which lost 23.61% to settle at 3.430 and Omega Flex Inc (NASDAQ:OFLX) which was down 15.23% to 58.11 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1654 to 1444 and 144 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1442 fell and 1023 advanced, while 162 ended unchanged.

Shares in Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ:CTAS) rose to all time highs; rising 9.19% or 11.65 to 138.43. Shares in E-TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:ETFC) rose to 5-year highs; up 5.13% or 2.03 to 41.63. Shares in Visa Inc (NYSE:V) rose to all time highs; rising 1.52% or 1.49 to 99.60. Shares in General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) fell to 52-week lows; losing 2.92% or 0.78 to 25.91. Shares in Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) rose to all time highs; gaining 0.88% or 1.86 to 212.14.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 2.51% to 9.34.

Gold Futures for August delivery was up 0.68% or 8.41 to $1253.91 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in September fell 2.56% or 1.20 to hit $45.72 a barrel, while the September Brent oil contract fell 2.66% or 1.31 to trade at $47.99 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.26% to 1.1662, while USD/JPY fell 0.70% to 111.13.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.32% at 93.78.

Nigeria stocks higher at close of trade; NSE 30 up 0.91%

Investing.com – Nigeria stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Banking, Insurance and Oil&Gas sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Lagos, the NSE 30 gained 0.91% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the NSE 30 were Wapco (LAGOS:WAPCO), which rose 9.89% or 5.40 points to trade at 60.00 at the close. Meanwhile, Skye Bank (LAGOS:SKYEBAN) added 5.80% or 0.040 points to end at 0.730 and Zenithbank (LAGOS:ZENITHB) was up 4.08% or 0.90 points to 22.61 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Union Bank LG (LAGOS:UBN), which fell 3.11% or 0.17 points to trade at 5.40 at the close. Fbn Holdings (LAGOS:FBNH) declined 2.44% or 0.150 points to end at 6.000 and Diamond Bank (LAGOS:DIAMONB) was down 2.34% or 0.030 points to 1.250.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Lagos by 42 to 35 and 21 ended unchanged.

Shares in Wapco (LAGOS:WAPCO) rose to 52-week highs; up 9.89% or 5.40 to 60.00.

Crude oil for September delivery was down 2.15% or 1.01 to $45.91 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in September fell 2.05% or 1.01 to hit $48.29 a barrel, while the August Gold Futures contract rose 0.61% or 7.62 to trade at $1253.12 a troy ounce.

EUR/NGN was up 1.37% to 367.100, while USD/NGN fell 9.93% to 315.250.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.35% at 93.75.

Morocco stocks lower at close of trade; Moroccan All Shares down 0.62%

Investing.com – Morocco stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Utilities, Oil&Gas and Software&Computer Services sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Casablanca, the Moroccan All Shares lost 0.62%.

The best performers of the session on the Moroccan All Shares were Sonasid (CS:SOND), which rose 9.98% or 46 points to trade at 506 at the close. Meanwhile, Risma (CS:RIS) added 7.90% or 9.15 points to end at 125.00 and Agma Lahlou-Tazi (CS:AGMA) was up 3.21% or 84 points to 2700 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Timar (CS:TIM), which fell 9.99% or 28.95 points to trade at 260.95 at the close. Afriquia Gaz (CS:AGAZ1) declined 5.97% or 176 points to end at 2774 and BMCI (CS:BMCI) was down 5.97% or 40 points to 630.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Casablanca Stock Exchange by 38 to 15 and 5 ended unchanged.

Shares in Sonasid (CS:SOND) rose to 52-week highs; rising 9.98% or 46 to 506.

Crude oil for September delivery was down 2.26% or 1.06 to $45.86 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in September fell 2.15% or 1.06 to hit $48.24 a barrel, while the August Gold Futures contract rose 0.62% or 7.66 to trade at $1253.16 a troy ounce.

EUR/MAD was up 0.14% to 11.1090, while USD/MAD fell 0.10% to 9.5270.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.34% at 93.76.

Italy stocks lower at close of trade; Investing.com Italy 40 down 0.98%

Investing.com – Italy stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Chemicals, Healthcare and Industrials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Milan, the Investing.com Italy 40 lost 0.98%.

The best performers of the session on the Investing.com Italy 40 were Poste Italiane SpA (MI:PST), which rose 1.01% or 0.060 points to trade at 6.025 at the close. Meanwhile, Azimut Holding (MI:AZMT) added 0.45% or 0.08 points to end at 18.05 and Unipol Gruppo Finanziario Spa (MI:UNPI) was up 0.21% or 0.008 points to 3.874 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Banca Popolare dell’Emilia Romagna (MI:EMII), which fell 2.68% or 0.130 points to trade at 4.720 at the close. Recordati (MI:RECI) declined 2.66% or 0.97 points to end at 35.51 and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (MI:FCHA) was down 2.62% or 0.270 points to 10.030.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Milan Stock Exchange by 268 to 86 and 18 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for September delivery was down 2.43% or 1.14 to $45.78 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in September fell 2.29% or 1.13 to hit $48.17 a barrel, while the August Gold Futures contract rose 0.55% or 6.83 to trade at $1252.33 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was up 0.22% to 1.1658, while EUR/GBP rose 0.23% to 0.8987.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.24% at 93.85.

France stocks lower at close of trade; CAC 40 down 1.57%

Investing.com – France stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Basic Materials, Consumer Goods and Healthcare sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 fell 1.57% to hit a new 1-month low, while the SBF 120 index lost 1.44%.

The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were Engie SA (PA:ENGIE), which rose 0.89% or 0.12 points to trade at 13.57 at the close. Meanwhile, Safran SA (PA:SAF) fell 0.55% or 0.45 points to end at 81.05 and Lafargeholcim Ltd (PA:LHN) was down 0.57% or 0.29 points to 51.01 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Valeo SA (PA:VLOF), which fell 6.94% or 4.44 points to trade at 59.58 at the close. Peugeot SA (PA:PEUP) declined 3.41% or 0.65 points to end at 18.40 and Schneider Electric SE (PA:SCHN) was down 3.09% or 2.09 points to 65.49.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Rubis (PA:RUBF) which rose 3.51% to 107.75, Genfit (PA:GNFT) which was up 2.43% to settle at 26.600 and Ingenico Group (PA:INGC) which gained 1.77% to close at 88.21.

The worst performers were Sartorius Stedim Biotech (PA:STDM) which was down 7.90% to 61.80 in late trade, Valeo SA (PA:VLOF) which lost 6.94% to settle at 59.58 and Tarkett (PA:TKTT) which was down 6.87% to 37.05 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 426 to 173 and 93 ended unchanged.

Shares in Rubis (PA:RUBF) rose to all time highs; rising 3.51% or 3.65 to 107.75.

The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was up 12.43% to 14.46.

Gold Futures for August delivery was up 0.54% or 6.74 to $1252.24 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in September fell 2.39% or 1.12 to hit $45.80 a barrel, while the September Brent oil contract fell 2.29% or 1.13 to trade at $48.17 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.22% to 1.1658, while EUR/GBP rose 0.22% to 0.8986.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.24% at 93.85.

Denmark stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Copenhagen 20 down 0.90%

Investing.com – Denmark stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Industrials, Personal&Household Goods and Consumer Goods sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Copenhagen, the OMX Copenhagen 20 declined 0.90%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Copenhagen 20 were Coloplast A/S (CO:COLOb), which rose 2.60% or 14.0 points to trade at 552.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Novozymes A/S B (CO:NZYMb) added 0.62% or 1.8 points to end at 292.4 and Genmab (CO:GEN) was up 0.42% or 6.0 points to 1438.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were FLSmidth&Co. (CO:FLS), which fell 3.47% or 14.0 points to trade at 389.2 at the close. AP Moeller - Maersk A/S B (CO:MAERSKb) declined 2.79% or 390 points to end at 13610 and AP Moeller - Maersk A/S A (CO:MAERSKa) was down 2.41% or 320 points to 12980.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange by 81 to 37 and 19 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for September delivery was down 2.45% or 1.15 to $45.77 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in September fell 2.33% or 1.15 to hit $48.15 a barrel, while the August Gold Futures contract rose 0.55% or 6.80 to trade at $1252.30 a troy ounce.

USD/DKK was down 0.23% to 6.3781, while EUR/DKK rose 0.00% to 7.4362.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.26% at 93.84.

Finland stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Helsinki 25 down 1.30%

Investing.com – Finland stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Industrials, Technology and Healthcare sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Helsinki, the OMX Helsinki 25 fell 1.30%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Helsinki 25 were Sampo Oyj A (HE:SAMPO), which fell 0.13% or 0.06 points to trade at 46.38 at the close. Meanwhile, Kesko Oyj (HE:KESKOB) fell 0.16% or 0.07 points to end at 43.40 and Cargotec Oyj (HE:CGCBV) was down 0.28% or 0.15 points to 52.70 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Huhtamaki Oyj (HE:HUH1V), which fell 7.25% or 2.53 points to trade at 32.36 at the close. Metso Oyj (HE:METSO) declined 6.37% or 1.97 points to end at 28.95 and Tieto Oyj (HE:TIE1V) was down 5.72% or 1.61 points to 26.52.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Helsinki Stock Exchange by 93 to 41 and 19 ended unchanged.

Shares in Huhtamaki Oyj (HE:HUH1V) fell to 52-week lows; falling 7.25% or 2.53 to 32.36.

Brent oil for September delivery was down 2.23% or 1.10 to $48.20 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in September fell 2.39% or 1.12 to hit $45.80 a barrel, while the August Gold Futures contract rose 0.55% or 6.83 to trade at $1252.33 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was up 0.24% to 1.1660, while EUR/GBP rose 0.25% to 0.8988.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.27% at 93.83.

Germany stocks lower at close of trade; DAX down 1.66%

Investing.com – Germany stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Technology, Construction and Retail sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Frankfurt, the DAX fell 1.66% to hit a new 1-month low, while the MDAX index lost 1.21%, and the TecDAX index fell 0.74%.

The best performers of the session on the DAX were Vonovia SE (DE:VNAn), which rose 0.10% or 0.04 points to trade at 34.47 at the close. Meanwhile, Linde AG O.N. (DE:LING) fell 0.88% or 1.50 points to end at 169.35 and Bayer AG NA (DE:BAYGN) was down 0.94% or 1.05 points to 111.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Infineon Technologies AG NA O.N. (DE:IFXGn), which fell 4.66% or 0.905 points to trade at 18.530 at the close. Volkswagen AG VZO O.N. (DE:VOWG_p) declined 3.64% or 5.20 points to end at 137.75 and Continental AG O.N. (DE:CONG) was down 3.11% or 6.15 points to 191.60.

The top performers on the MDAX were Duerr AG (DE:DUEG) which rose 1.76% to 104.000, Krones AG O.N. (DE:KRNG) which was up 1.06% to settle at 109.500 and Hugo Boss AG NA O.N. (DE:BOSSn) which gained 0.57% to close at 63.320.

The worst performers were Hochtief AG (DE:HOTG) which was down 5.45% to 149.95 in late trade, K+S AG NA O.N. (DE:SDFGn) which lost 3.56% to settle at 22.495 and Hella KGaA Hueck&Co (DE:HLE) which was down 3.31% to 45.45 at the close.

The top performers on the TecDAX were Nordex SE O.N. (DE:NDXG) which rose 2.94% to 11.920, GFT Technologies AG (DE:GFTG) which was up 2.79% to settle at 15.285 and CompuGroup Medical AG O.N. (DE:COPMa) which gained 0.48% to close at 49.435.

The worst performers were Adva Optical Networking SE (DE:ADAG) which was down 11.37% to 6.538 in late trade, Sartorius AG VZO O.N. (DE:SATG_p) which lost 4.36% to settle at 87.910 and Draegerwerk VZO O.N. (DE:DRWG_p) which was down 1.67% to 94.740 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by 571 to 194 and 26 ended unchanged.

Shares in Adva Optical Networking SE (DE:ADAG) fell to 52-week lows; down 11.37% or 0.839 to 6.538.

The DAX volatility index, which measures the implied volatility of DAX options, was up 11.23% to 14.97.

Gold Futures for August delivery was up 0.51% or 6.34 to $1251.84 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in September fell 2.00% or 0.94 to hit $45.98 a barrel, while the September Brent oil contract fell 1.89% or 0.93 to trade at $48.37 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.23% to 1.1659, while EUR/GBP rose 0.28% to 0.8991.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.24% at 93.85.

Norway stocks lower at close of trade; Oslo OBX down 1.54%

Investing.com – Norway stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Energy, Banking and Insurance sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Oslo, the Oslo OBX fell 1.54%.

The best performers of the session on the Oslo OBX were Nordic Nanovector ASA (OL:NANOV), which rose 3.02% or 2.15 points to trade at 73.30 at the close. Meanwhile, Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (OL:NWC) added 1.16% or 2.1 points to end at 182.8 and Norsk Hydro ASA (OL:NHY) was down 0.76% or 0.40 points to 52.05 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were SalMar ASA (OL:SALM), which fell 4.06% or 8.30 points to trade at 196.20 at the close. Petroleum Geo - Services ASA (OL:PGS) declined 2.90% or 0.51 points to end at 17.09 and Golden Ocean Group Ltd (OL:GOGLT) was down 2.73% or 1.55 points to 55.25.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Oslo Stock Exchange by 119 to 53 and 24 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for September delivery was down 1.85% or 0.87 to $46.05 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in September fell 1.72% or 0.85 to hit $48.45 a barrel, while the August Gold Futures contract rose 0.47% or 5.88 to trade at $1251.38 a troy ounce.

EUR/NOK was down 0.02% to 9.3559, while USD/NOK fell 0.25% to 8.0254.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.24% at 93.85.

Sweden stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Stockholm 30 down 1.03%

Investing.com – Sweden stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Industrials, Consumer Goods and Oil&Gas sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Stockholm, the OMX Stockholm 30 declined 1.03% to hit a new 1-month low.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Stockholm 30 were Fingerprint Cards AB ser. B (ST:FINGb), which rose 8.60% or 2.74 points to trade at 34.59 at the close. Meanwhile, Swedish Match AB (ST:SWMA) added 2.37% or 7.0 points to end at 302.0 and SSAB AB ser. A (ST:SSABa) was up 2.27% or 0.94 points to 42.42 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Autoliv Inc . SDB (ST:ALIVsdb), which fell 8.00% or 76.5 points to trade at 880.0 at the close. AB SKF B (ST:SKFb) declined 4.55% or 7.9 points to end at 165.9 and ABB Ltd (ST:ABB) was down 2.63% or 5.3 points to 196.1.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Stockholm Stock Exchange by 462 to 243 and 78 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for September delivery was down 1.85% or 0.87 to $46.05 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in September fell 1.72% or 0.85 to hit $48.45 a barrel, while the August Gold Futures contract rose 0.47% or 5.91 to trade at $1251.41 a troy ounce.

EUR/SEK was up 0.50% to 9.6125, while USD/SEK rose 0.26% to 8.2449.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.26% at 93.84.

Greece stocks lower at close of trade; Athens General Composite down 1.04%

Investing.com – Greece stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Construction, Food and Industrials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Athens, the Athens General Composite fell 1.04%.

The best performers of the session on the Athens General Composite were Intracom Hold (AT:INRr), which rose 4.79% or 0.032 points to trade at 0.700 at the close. Meanwhile, Select Textile (AT:EPIr) added 4.64% or 0.013 points to end at 0.293 and Autohellas (AT:AUTr) was up 2.39% or 0.49 points to 21.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Titan Cement Company SA (AT:TTNr), which fell 3.97% or 0.990 points to trade at 23.960 at the close. Athens Medical (AT:AMCr) declined 3.25% or 0.050 points to end at 1.490 and Selonda Aquaculture SA (AT:SELr) was down 3.02% or 0.0080 points to 0.2570.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Athens Stock Exchange by 67 to 40 and 8 ended unchanged.

Shares in Intracom Hold (AT:INRr) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 4.79% or 0.032 to 0.700.

Gold Futures for August delivery was up 0.44% or 5.44 to $1250.94 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in September fell 1.53% or 0.72 to hit $46.20 a barrel, while the September Brent oil contract fell 1.34% or 0.66 to trade at $48.64 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.21% to 1.1656, while EUR/GBP rose 0.18% to 0.8982.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.26% at 93.84.

Canadian retail sales beat consensus, but core number drops

Investing.com - Retail sales in Canada showed a larger-than-expected increase in May, although the core reading unexpectedly declined, official data showed on Friday.

In a report, Statistics Canada said that Canadian, retail sales increased by 0.6% in May, compared to forecasts for a 0.2% gain and after a 0.7% advance in the prior month, that was revised from an initial rise of 0.8%.

However, core retail sales, excluding automobiles, unexpectedly fell by 0.1% in May, after a 1.3% surge in the preceding month which was revised from an initial 1.5% advance.

Analysts had expected Canadian core retail sales to increase by 0.3% in May.

After the report, which was released simultaneous with Canadian inflation data for June, USD/CAD traded at 1.2559, compared to 1.2603 prior to the release.

India stocks higher at close of trade; Nifty 50 up 0.42%

Investing.com – India stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the IT, Technology and Consumer Durables sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NSE, the Nifty 50 added 0.42%, while the BSE Sensex 30 index added 0.39%.

The best performers of the session on the Nifty 50 were Wipro Ltd (NS:WIPR), which rose 6.28% or 16.90 points to trade at 286.05 at the close. Meanwhile, Reliance Industries Ltd (NS:RELI) added 3.67% or 56.10 points to end at 1585.00 and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (NS:ZEE) was up 3.17% or 17.10 points to 556.05 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Bharti Airtel Ltd. (NS:BRTI), which fell 2.02% or 8.50 points to trade at 411.30 at the close. Lupin Ltd (NS:LUPN) declined 1.99% or 23.15 points to end at 1142.90 and Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (NS:INBF) was down 1.84% or 21.30 points to 1137.45.

The top performers on the BSE Sensex 30 were Wipro Ltd (BO:WIPR) which rose 6.47% to 286.40, Reliance Industries Ltd (BO:RELI) which was up 3.76% to settle at 1586.20 and Coal India Ltd (BO:COAL) which gained 2.66% to close at 262.25.

The worst performers were Bharti Airtel Ltd (BO:BRTI) which was down 2.05% to 411.15 in late trade, Lupin Ltd (BO:LUPN) which lost 1.99% to settle at 1142.85 and Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (BO:PGRD) which was down 1.85% to 214.90 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the India National Stock Exchange by 874 to 684 and 12 ended unchanged; on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1370 fell and 1245 advanced, while 127 ended unchanged.

Shares in Wipro Ltd (NS:WIPR) rose to 52-week highs; rising 6.28% or 16.90 to 286.05. Shares in Reliance Industries Ltd (NS:RELI) rose to 5-year highs; up 3.67% or 56.10 to 1585.00. Shares in Reliance Industries Ltd (BO:RELI) rose to all time highs; gaining 3.76% or 57.50 to 1586.20.

The India VIX, which measures the implied volatility of Nifty 50 options, was down 2.03% to 11.0850.

Gold Futures for August delivery was up 0.15% or 1.86 to $1247.36 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in September rose 0.04% or 0.02 to hit $46.94 a barrel, while the September Brent oil contract rose 0.14% or 0.07 to trade at $49.37 a barrel.

USD/INR was up 0.00% to 64.335, while EUR/INR rose 0.04% to 74.9207.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.14% at 93.95.

Top 5 things to watch today

Investing.com - Markets brace for big movers on U.S. earnings.
All eyes on political developments surrounding Trump-Russia investigation.
Euro hovers near 2-year high against dollar post-ECB.
Oil firm higher ahead of OPEC meeting, U.S. rig count.
Global stocks mixed near record highs.

Indonesia stocks lower at close of trade; IDX Composite Index down 1.03%

Investing.com – Indonesia stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Miscellaneous Industry, Manufacturing and Financials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Jakarta, the IDX Composite Index lost 1.03% to hit a new 1-month low.

The best performers of the session on the IDX Composite Index were Radana Bhaskara Finance Tbk (JK:HDFA), which rose 34.72% or 67 points to trade at 260 at the close. Meanwhile, Bhuwanatala Indah Permai Tbk (JK:BIPP) added 28.21% or 22 points to end at 100 and Marga Abhinaya Abadi Tbk PT (JK:MABA) was up 24.69% or 300 points to 1515 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Tiga Pilar Sejahtera Food Tbk (JK:AISA), which fell 24.92% or 400 points to trade at 1205 at the close. Nusantara Inti Corpora Tbk (JK:UNIT) declined 23.08% or 66.00 points to end at 220.00 and Tigaraksa Satria Tbk (JK:TGKA) was down 22.59% or 610 points to 2090.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Jakarta Stock Exchange by 213 to 121 and 122 ended unchanged.

Shares in Tiga Pilar Sejahtera Food Tbk (JK:AISA) fell to 52-week lows; losing 24.92% or 400 to 1205. Shares in Marga Abhinaya Abadi Tbk PT (JK:MABA) rose to all time highs; rising 24.69% or 300 to 1515. Shares in Tigaraksa Satria Tbk (JK:TGKA) fell to 52-week lows; falling 22.59% or 610 to 2090.

Crude oil for September delivery was up 0.43% or 0.20 to $47.12 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in September rose 0.53% or 0.26 to hit $49.56 a barrel, while the August Gold Futures contract rose 0.15% or 1.81 to trade at $1247.31 a troy ounce.

USD/IDR was down 0.01% to 13315.0, while AUD/IDR fell 0.54% to 10440.50.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.14% at 93.95.

Top 5 things to know in the market on Friday

Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Friday, July 21:

1. Markets brace for big movers on earnings

Markets prepared on Friday to price in some large moves in stocks from big name companies that reported after the prior day’s close.

Shares in Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) were up around 1.5% in pre-market trade as the computer giant produced late Thursday better-than-expected quarterly profit thanks to its fast-growing cloud business.

Visa Inc (NYSE:V) was also expected to see gains of around 1% as the blue-chip credit card company lifted its earnings forecast after beating profit estimates.

On the downside, eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) showed losses of 4% in pre-market trade Friday as its numbers came out largely in line with expectations and its guidance failed to impress.

Investors will also focus Friday on reports from General Electric (NYSE:GE) or Moody's (NYSE:MCO) scheduled for release before the opening bell even as markets brace for the following week, the busiest in the second quarter reporting season.

2. All eyes on political developments surrounding Trump-Russia investigation

Investors were keeping an eye on continuing investigations into allegations that Russia meddled with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly expanding his investigations into possible money laundering by Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign manager.

Trump has repeatedly denied allegations that he colluded with Russia, while The Wall Street Journal reported that Mueller may expand the investigation into the President’s private business.

The report came one day after Trump stated that investigating his personal finances would be crossing a red line.

The recent reports kept continuous downward pressure on the dollar as market players fretted over how the investigations would sidetrack the implementation of Trump’s fiscal and economic policies.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, slipped 0.11% to 93.98 by 5:56AM ET (9:56GMT).

3. Euro hovers near 2-year high against dollar post-ECB

Apart from weakness in the dollar from the political panorama stateside, the euro continued to be gain ground against the greenback after European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi hinted on Thursday that the euro zone monetary authority could begin discussions on tapering stimulus in the fall.

EUR/USD reached 1.1677 on Friday its highest level since August 2015 as markets took Draghi’s comments to mean that the ECB was slowly shifting towards taking a less dovish stance and beginning to consider a removal of policy accommodation.

ECB policymakers now see October as the most likely date to decide on the future of the ECB's asset purchases and consider December, an option flagged by staff, as too late, four sources with direct knowledge of the discussion told Reuters.

4. Oil moves higher ahead of OPEC meeting, U.S. rig count

Oil prices moved higher on Friday, with U.S. crude on track for weekly gains of 1%, as investors looked ahead to further data on U.S. drilling activity later in the session and waited for a gathering of oil producers at the beginning of next week.

The Joint OPEC/Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), whose task is to monitor compliance with agreement to cut production, will likely not produce any official statements to change the current state of play in attempts to reduce the global supply glut when it gathers on Monday.

However, markets will pay close attention to any comments on the sidelines of the meeting amid speculation that Saudi Arabia is considering additional cuts in output while Libya and Nigeria may lose their exemption from the accord between major oil producers to cut production by 1.8 million barrels per day through March 2018.

Market participants will also eye the latest weekly data from Baker Hughes on U.S. drilling activity out later in the session.

Last Friday, the energy services company reported that U.S. drillers had added two oil rigs, which brought the total count up to 765, the most since April 2015, underlining concern that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production is derailing efforts by other major producers to rebalance the market.

U.S. crude oil futures gained 0.45% to $47.13 at 5:57AM ET (9:57GMT), while Brent oil traded up 0.49% to $49.54.

5. Global stocks show mixed trade near record highs

After the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both hit intraday records in the prior session, U.S. futures showed caution as investors would focus on reactions to earnings in a day with no major economic reports. At 5:57AM ET (9:57GMT), the blue-chip Dow futures slipped 0.06%, S&P 500 futures inched up 0.05% while the Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 0.04%.

European shares saw mixed trade on Friday as corporate earnings were insufficient to counteract the somber mood of the previous session when a stronger euro weighed heavily on exporters. At 5:58AM ET (9:58GMT), the European benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 lost 0.22%, Germany’s DAX lost 0.24%, while London's FTSE 100 advanced 0.11%.

Earlier, Asian equity markets were down across the board Friday, taking a breather from recent climbs. Japan’s Nikkei and China’s Shanghai Composite ended around 0.2% lower.

Euro holds at two-year highs vs. dollar after Draghi comments

Investing.com - The euro Friday held at two-year highs of above $1.16 against the dollar after comments by ECB chief Mario Draghi that were deemed hawkish.
The euro was up 0.11% at $1.1645 at 04:15 ET after hitting a high for the session of $1.1677.
That depressed the dollar index, which at one point fell below the 94 mark at levels last seen over a year ago.
The index was down 0.09% at 94.00 after a low of 93.84.
Draghi said Thursday the ECB had put off any discussion of a possible policy shift until the fall.
The ECB as widely expected left policy on hold and left open the possibility of increasing asset purchases if the situation so demanded.
The dollar fell back below the 112 mark against the yen as the BoJ signaled massive stimulus would remain in place.
The pound was steady below the $1.30 mark as the odds of a BoE rate hike dimmed.
The Aussie weakened against the dollar after dovish remarks by the RBA deputy governor.
Guy Debelle signaled the Australian central bank was in no hurry to raise rates.

Japan stocks lower at close of trade; Nikkei 225 down 0.22%

Investing.com – Japan stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Shipbuilding, Marine Transport and Manufacturing sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 lost 0.22%.

The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Yaskawa Electric Corp. (T:6506), which rose 10.04% or 256.0 points to trade at 2806.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Toshiba Corp. (T:6502) added 5.45% or 14.3 points to end at 276.9 and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (T:6503) was up 4.66% or 76.6 points to 1720.8 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were TDK Corp. (T:6762), which fell 3.25% or 260.0 points to trade at 7730.0 at the close. Showa Denko K.K. (T:4004) declined 2.84% or 90.0 points to end at 3075.0 and Toho Zinc Co., Ltd. (T:5707) was down 2.35% or 11.0 points to 458.0.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1665 to 1479 and 323 ended unchanged.

Shares in Yaskawa Electric Corp. (T:6506) rose to all time highs; gaining 10.04% or 256.0 to 2806.0.

The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was down 1.51% to 12.42 a new 5-year low.

Crude oil for September delivery was up 0.45% or 0.21 to $47.13 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in September rose 0.51% or 0.25 to hit $49.55 a barrel, while the August Gold Futures contract rose 0.11% or 1.39 to trade at $1246.89 a troy ounce.

USD/JPY was down 0.16% to 111.73, while EUR/JPY fell 0.05% to 130.12.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.10% at 93.99.

Taiwan stocks lower at close of trade; Taiwan Weighted down 0.60%

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

At the close in Taiwan, the Taiwan Weighted declined 0.60%.

The best performers of the session on the Taiwan Weighted were Sumagh High Tech Corp (TW:1475), which rose 8.38% or 2.10 points to trade at 27.15 at the close. Meanwhile, Taisun Enterprise Co Ltd (TW:1218) added 6.83% or 1.55 points to end at 24.25 and Nuvoton Technology Corp (TW:4919) was up 5.73% or 3.10 points to 57.20 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Jye Tai Precision Industrial Co Ltd (TW:6165), which fell 9.98% or 4.85 points to trade at 43.75 at the close. Right Way Industrial Co Ltd (TW:1506) declined 8.72% or 1.90 points to end at 19.90 and Biostar Microtech International Corp (TW:2399) was down 7.36% or 1.35 points to 17.00.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Taiwan Stock Exchange by 420 to 318 and 138 ended unchanged.

Shares in Sumagh High Tech Corp (TW:1475) rose to 3-years highs; rising 8.38% or 2.10 to 27.15. Shares in Taisun Enterprise Co Ltd (TW:1218) rose to all time highs; gaining 6.83% or 1.55 to 24.25. Shares in Nuvoton Technology Corp (TW:4919) rose to 5-year highs; rising 5.73% or 3.10 to 57.20.

Crude oil for September delivery was down 0.02% or 0.01 to $46.91 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in September fell 0.04% or 0.02 to hit $49.28 a barrel, while the August Gold Futures contract rose 0.03% or 0.33 to trade at $1245.83 a troy ounce.

USD/TWD was down 0.15% to 30.407, while TWD/CNY rose 0.22% to 0.2251.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.14% at 93.95.

Asian equity markets down Friday slowing rally

INVESTING.COM – Asian equity markets were down across the board Friday, taking a breather from recent climbs and after the European Central Bank took a dovish stance on policy and its ongoing stimulus program.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was down 0.19% at mid-morning to 26,690, with shares still hovering near highs not seen in two years. The market opened on an upbeat note Friday but reatreated shortly after on profit taking. Hong Kong has risen for the last nine days.

China's markets gave up some recent gains, falling for the first time in four days on prifit taking. The Shanghai Composite Index as down 0.21% to 3,238. The Shenzhen Composite Index was flat, up 0.02% to 1848.

In Japan, the Nikkei dropped 0.30% to 20,084 after morning trade. The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Thursday and suggested a near-term change in the stance was unlikely, saying "Risks to the economy and price outlook are skewed to the downside". The Bank of Japan’s monetary policy statement and interest rate decision was expected to offer comment on the pace of asset buying at ¥80 trillion annually and possibly hint of tapering.

Breaking the downwards trend were Korea, where the Kospi 50 was up just 0.06% to 2,145 and Singapore's FTSE Straits Times Index, which gained 0.32% to 3,303.

The region's smaller markets were mixed.

Thailand's SET Index was up 0.21% to 1,578. In the Philippines, the PSEi Index in the Philippines was down 0.60% to 7,857 days after the country's central bank predicted the first current account deficit for the year since 2003. The Jakarta Stock Exchange Composite Index was down 0.50% to 5,795.

Gold climbs after dovish ECB stance

Investing.com - Gold powered up to three-week highs overnight in Asia before flattening out during morning trade.

The catalyst for the spike was a unanimous decision by the European Central Bank not to change their guidance on monetary policy or discuss changes to an ongoing stimulus program for the time being. The dovish stance was not out of tune with the tone taken by the US federal Reserve.

The Gold futures for August delivery dropped very slightly by 0.07% to $1,244.57 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange by mid-morning in Asia but were still up more around $7 from a day earlier. At one point, gold rose as high as $1,247.48, the highest point in three weeks.

West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery was virtually flat, giving up 0.06% to $46.89. Brent oil futures for September delivery gave up 0.06% to $49.27 by mid-morning.

US Dollar Index futures, which track the greenback against a basket of six currencies, were up 0.05% to $94.61, with the dollar struggling to gain traction but halting a plunge that has taken it to 10-month lows.

The plunge in the greenback was slowed down by expectations, fuelled last week by the testimoney of US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, that any monetary tightenting in the US would happen slowly and reports from China that suggested growth there is slightly ahead of target for the year.

Earlier this week, China released second quarter GDP growth with a gain of 1.7% that matched expectations and a year-on-year increase of 6.9% that came in slighltly higher than the expected 6.8%. At the same time, China reported industrial production gained 7.6% from a year earlier in June and retail sales rose 11% in June.

Last week, gold prices rose to two-week highs as political uncertainty in the U.S., which has extended to this week, made it more attractive as a safe haven against the falling dollar.