Australia’s stock benchmark was among Asia Pacific’s rare gainers after two-straight
tiny drops, allowing the ASX 200 to post another 11 1/2-year closing high. The index was
slightly higher most of the day and finished up 0.2% at 6554.
It added 1.7% for the week, a second-straight gain and fourth in the past five. Energy
stocks rebounded 1.7% amid oil’s overnight bounce, which has continued in Asia today.
Materials, meanwhile, jumped 2% to its latest 8-year best. Conversely, financials shed
0.8% and consumer stocks also declined.
U.S. stocks meandered lower in quiet trading as tepid economic data and rising tensions
in the Middle East added to concerns over growth and trade.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 17.16 points, or 0.1%, to 26089.61 in recent
trading, while the S&P 500 lost 4.66 points, or 0.2%, to 2886.98 and Nasdaq Composite
fell 40.47, or 0.5%, to 7796.66. The declines mark a pause in what has otherwise been a
strong start to June, and all three indexes are on track for weekly gains. The Dow
industrials are up 0.4% this week, while the S&P 500 is up 0.5% this week and the Nasdaq
is up 0.7%.
After a bruising May during which major indexes lost more than 6%, U.S. stocks have
clawed back much of those losses. The recent rally was sparked last week, when Federal
Reserve officials signaled in interviews and speeches that they are watching the risks of
a sharper-than-expected economic slowdown, a sign the central bank might consider
lowering interest rates in coming meetings.
This week, gains in shares of energy companies and a batch of soaring initial public
offerings also helped boost stock prices. On Friday, shares of online pet-products
retailer Chewy Inc. soared $12.99, or 59%, to $34.99 in its stock-market debut.
Gold prices climbed as mounting concerns about the health of China’s economy hit
riskier commodities and tensions in the Middle East pushed investors into haven assets.
Gold futures for August delivery, the most-actively traded U.S. contract, increased
0.1% to $1,344.50 a troy ounce, paring gains after trading at the highest level since
The rise accelerated after the National Bureau of Statistics released figures showing
that Chinese industrial production grew at its slowest pace in 17 years in May, adding to
fears that Beijing’s efforts to stimulate growth are faltering in the face of trade
frictions with the U.S.
Crude futures settled higher, a day after an attack on two tankers in the Strait of
Hormuz triggered concerns about disruptions to the global flow of oil and prompted a
rally in prices.
Despite Thursday’s price climb of more than 2%, however, oil futures suffered a loss
for the week, with U.S.-China trade tensions continuing to feed expectations for a
slowdown in energy demand. In a report Friday, the International Energy Agency cut its
global oil demand growth forecast and said there’s “plentiful’ supply to meet that
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery rose 23 cents, or 0.4%, to settle at
$52.51 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The tanker attacks drove a 2.2% gain
for oil on Thursday, but prices failed to recoup the 4% loss from Wednesday. Front-month
contract prices lost 2.7% for the week.
August Brent crude added 70 cents, or 1.1%, to $62.01 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe,
after a gain of 2.2% of Thursday. Brent finished down 2% for the week.
The peso was quoted in Mexico City at 19.16 to the U.S. dollar compared with 19.19
Thursday, ending the week with a 2.4% gain since Mexico put off the threat of tariffs on
its exports to the U.S. with an agreement to contain the flood of migrants reaching its
The IPC index of leading stocks closed down 0.8% at 43,131 points.
The Stoxx Europe 600 dropped 0.5% after a broadly negative session in Asia following
downbeat Chinese economic data. The DAX dropped 0.6% and the CAC-40 was off 0.2%.
All major Asian indices finished in the red, with the exception of Japan’s Nikkei 225,
after Chinese industrial production in May increased year-on-year at its lowest rate in
The Shanghai Composite was down 1%, while the Shenzhen index was 1.8% lower. Hong
Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.7% amid protests in the city against an unpopular extradition
bill. Data later in the day showed China’s industrial output slowed, adding to fears the
country’s economic growth was faltering.
Indian shares were among the top losers in Asia as sharp selling in the last 40 minutes
propelled the third consecutive session decline. The BSE Index closed down 0.7% at
Indonesian stocks narrowed losses after a post-lunch slide to session lows, ensuring a
3rd straight week of gains. The Jakarta Composite Index ended 0.4% lower at 6250.27, but
was up 0.7% for the week following a weeklong holiday.