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Spriha Srivastava The Japanese yen jumped on Friday as investors sought protection against volatile stock moves, while the greenback dipped as stocks traded higher after a dramatic week capped by large price swings. The benchmark S&P 500 tested its 20-month low early in the week and was at the brink of bear market territory before the three main indexes roared back with their biggest daily surge in nearly a decade on Wednesday and a late rally on Thursday. The yen gained despite higher stocks, soft domestic data and a decline in benchmark Japanese bond yields, which fell back into negative territory for the first time in more than a year. That suggests that there’s still demand for some insurance against extended volatility over the holiday period that’s keeping the yen better supported, said Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto. The Japanese currency was last up 0.62 percent against the greenback at 110.30 yen at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Fred Imbert,Spriha Srivastava Treasury yields were little changed on Monday as investors concluded a wild 2018. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note traded around 2.73 percent, while the 2-year yield held at 2.528 percent. Bond yields move inversely to prices. Treasury yields had a volatile year as investors around the world struggled with tighter monetary policy, fears of an economic slowdown and an ongoing U.S.-China trade war. The 10-year yield traded as high as 3.26 percent in 2018, its highest level since 2011, as the Fed raised rates this year and started paring down its massive balance sheet. Overall, the Fed hiked rates four times in 2018. But Treasury yields fell off those levels as investors began to fear that the global economy was slowing down. Earlier this month, IHS Markit said its U.S. composite output index fell to a 19-month low for December. They also said services and manufacturing PMIs dropped to their lowest levels in about a year.
ASIA Hong Kong and Australia close out 2018 with annual declines Eustance Huang Stocks in Asia were mixed on the final day of 2018, as most major markets around the globe were set to record calendar year declines. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.34 percent to finish the trading year at 25,845.70. The day’s gains, however, were unable to offset the index’s performance for 2018 — with it declining about 13.61 percent as compared to its final close of 2017. Hong Kong’s markets closed at 12:00 p.m. HK/SIN today for New Year’s Eve. The ASX 200 in Australia, meanwhile, slipped 0.14 percent to close out 2018 at 5,646.40. The benchmark Australian index ended 2018 lower by 6.9 percent as compared to its final close of 2017. Australia’s markets closed at 11:10 a.m. HK/SIN today for New Year’s Eve. On Monday, the materials subindex Down Under gained 0.4 percent, as shares of major miners advanced
Spot Prices as of close of trading in New York Monday, December 31, 2018 GOLD TODAY $1,280.10 CHANGE -$1.50 WEEK AGO $1,272.10 MONTH AGO $1,219.10 YEAR AGO $1,307.95 SILVER TODAY $15.50 CHANGE +$0.09 WEEK AGO $14.82 MONTH AGO $14.07 YEAR AGO $17.17 PLATINUM TODAY $795.80 CHANGE -$1.20 WEEK AGO $791.40 MONTH AGO $801.90 YEAR AGO $936.30 PALLADIUM TODAY $1,270.35 CHANGE +$5.35 WEEK AGO $1,245.50 MONTH AGO $1,172.00 YEAR AGO $1,061.10 GOLD/SILVER RATIO 82.58 Source: CMI
Tom DiChristopher Oil pumpjacks in the Permian Basin oil field are getting to work as crude oil prices gain. Spencer Platt | Getty Images Oil prices gave up early gains on the final day of the year, despite a rising stock market , and were on track for their first annual decline in three years as concerns of a persistent supply glut lingered. Hints of progress on a possible U.S.-China trade deal, with U.S. President Donald Trump saying he had a “very good call” with Chinese President Xi Jinping, helped bolster market sentiment. Brent crude futures was up 13 cents at $53.34 a barrel around 12:22 p.m. ET, on pace for a 20 percent decline in 2018. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $45.29 a barrel, down 4 cents. WTI has fallen about 25 percent this year. Both contracts are down more than a third this quarter, the steepest decline since the fourth quarter of 2014. For most of 2018, oil prices were on the rise, driven up by healthy demand and supply
Nyshka Chandran Gold edged lower from a more than six-month peak hit early on Monday and was poised for its first annual decline since 2015 after losing out this year to dollar strength linked to the U.S.-China trade conflict and rising interest rates. Spot gold rose 0.06 percent to $1,281.47 an ounce at 11:44 a.m. EST, having hit its highest since June 15 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures were up 0.08 percent at $1,284.00. “The equity markets are off to a very good start and that is putting a little bit of pressure on gold market,” said Phil Streible, senior commodities strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago. “Gold has had an incredible run in the month of December, so we are seeing a small bit of profit-taking.” Spot prices have gained about 5 percent so far this month, the most since January, but are still down 1.7 percent in the year to date. “Gold started well in 2018, but a recovery in the U.S. dollar weakened prices and uncertainty on the U.S-China trade fron
cnbc.com Tucker Higgins Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call Group | Getty Images Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., announced on Monday that she had formally launched an exploratory committee for a 2020 presidential bid. The former Harvard professor made the announcement in a video emailed to supporters. In the four-minute video, Warren trumpeted a message of economic fairness. “Our government is supposed to work for all of us, but instead, it has become a tool for the wealthy and well-connected,” Warren said in the video. Warren is among the first Democrats to announce a bid for her party’s nomination to take on President Donald Trump in 2020. The field is expected to grow in the coming weeks as other Democrats enter what will likely become a crowded and expensive primary contest. The Massachusetts Democrat, a prominent voice in the party’s liberal wing, has vowed to go after major banks and prot
Peter Schacknow Check out the companies making headlines before the bell: Amazon.com – Amazon is planning a significant expansion of its Whole Foods grocery stores, according to The Wall Street Journal. The paper said Amazon is scouting new locations in more suburbs, and in areas where Whole Foods is already growing in popularity. Deutsche Bank – Deutsche Bank chairman Paul Achleitner told a German newspaper that the bank is strong and that its turnaround strategy is working, adding that there is no need for either state aid or a merger. Tribune Publishing – Tribune was hit by a cyberattack over the weekend that caused printing and delivery disruptions for newspapers like the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun. Verizon , Walt Disney – The two sides reached a distribution agreement ahead of a Monday deadline, meaning that Verizon FiOS customers will continue to receive Disney-owned channels like ESPN. Apple , Alphabet – Apple and Alphabet’s G
Today's guide to the WSJ Good Morning . Happy New Year from all of us at The Wall Street Journal. The 10-Point newsletter will take a break on Jan. 1 and return on Wednesday. In today’s edition, investors face the year’s last trading session, President Trump re-evaluates a rapid pullout from Syria, Amazon tries to reinvent itself in India, and more. 1. Futures point to higher openings for both the Dow industrials and the S&P 500 on the year’s last day of trading. European stocks were up in early trading following an upbeat session in Asia. On Friday, U.S. stocks flip-flopped —the Dow changing directions 19 times—prolonging the puzzle of the swift-swinging market . If a brutal December and rough fourth quarter have any leading cause, it is a modest souring about the global economy’s prospects. Among investors’ worries: the Fed’s rate-raising pace, the trade spat with China