Crude Oil Prices Turn Higher on Libyan Supply Disruptions

2018-02-23 15:09 GMT

Investing.com - Crude oil prices turned higher on Friday, supported by news of supply disruptions in Libya offset lingering worries over U.S. production levels.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude April contract was up 15 cents or about 0.27% at $62.92 a barrel by 10:05 a.m. ET (14:05 GMT), just off a more than two-week high of $63.09 hit on Thursday.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for April delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London rose 14 cents or about 0.24% to $66.56 a barrel, after hitting a more than two-week peak of $66.56 on Thursday.

Oil prices were boosted on news the El Feel oilfield in Libya producing 70,000 bpd was shut down, due to unrest.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday that crude oil inventories fell by 1.6 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 16, compared to expectations for a gain of around 1.8 million barrels.

The report came a day after the American Petroleum Institute reported a supply-drop of around 0.9 million barrels.

Both reports come out one day later than usual due to Monday's President's Day holiday.

However fears that rising U.S. output could dampen global efforts to rid the market of excess supplies have systematically limited oil prices' gains recently.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), along with some non-OPEC members led by Russia, agreed in December to extend oil output cuts until the end of 2018.

The deal to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day (bpd) was adopted last winter by OPEC, Russia and nine other global producers. The agreement was due to end in March 2018, having already been extended once.

Elsewhere, gasoline futures gained 0.45% to $1.775 a gallon, while natural gas futures lost 1.56% to $2.593 per million British thermal units.

Stocks- Wall Street Rises as Investors Look Ahead to Fed Speeches

2018-02-23 14:50 GMT

Investing.com – Wall Street opened higher on Friday as bond yields fell and investors look ahead to speeches from Federal Reserve officials for clues on how quickly the Fed will raise rates.

The S&P 500 was up 14 points or 0.55% to 2,718.93 as of 9:48 AM ET (14:48 GMT) while the Dow composite increased 157 points or 0.63% to 25,120.39, and tech heavy NASDAQ Composite rose over 43 points or 0.61% to 7,253.81.

Stocks were under pressure earlier this week after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting showed the central bank expected to continue increasing rates.

The yield on the U.S. Treasury 10-year note rose to a four-year high following the minutes. The yield eased down on Friday to 2.892%.

Investors will be watching for further clues when New York Fed President William Dudley, Cleveland Fed's Loretta Meister and San Francisco Fed President John Williams speak later in the day.

Markets were bolstered by rising technology and services stocks. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) rose 1.13% while Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) increased 1.11% while Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) surged 2.17%. Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) recovered 1.77% after falling over 6% on Thursday while Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (NYSE:HPE) was up 9.81% after posting higher than expected earnings.

Meanwhile, General Mills (NYSE:GIS) was down 4.09% after it announced it was buying natural pet food company Blue Buffalo for $8 billion while Universal Display (NASDAQ:OLED) fell 12.43%.

In Europe stocks were mostly up. In Germany the DAX rose 31 points or 0.625 while France’s CAC 40 increased five points or 0.10% and in London the FTSE 100 gained 207 points or 0.93%. Meanwhile Spain’s IBEX 35 was down 70 points or 0.71% and the pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 inched up one point or 0.03%.

In commodities, gold futures fell 0.26% to $1,329.20 a troy ounce while crude oil futures rose 0.24% to $62.92 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.25% to 89.88.

The 10 Largest U.S. Companies By Market Capitalization

2018-02-23 14:36 GMT

Investing.com - Earlier this month, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) briefly overtook Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) as the third largest U.S. company based on market capitalization, which is the multiple of a company's stock price and the number of outstanding shares of stock.
Here are the top 10 market caps and how the company's stock performed over the past 12 months.
1. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) -- $871.97 billion -- +18%)
Apple is the clear number one and some say on its way to hitting a trillion dollars.
2. Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) -- $766.67 billion -- +32%)
Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is second.
3. Microsoft -- $713.92 billion -- +49%)
Microsoft is neck and neck with Amazon for third place.
4. Amazon -- $710.84 billion -- +72%)
Amazon is fourth--for now.
5. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) -- $511.31 billion -- +32%)
Facebook is a distant number five.
6. Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKa) -- $501.21 billion -- +20%)
Warren Buffett's giant holding company is number six..
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) -- $398.01 billion -- +26%)
JPMorgan Chase is seventh and one of two banks in the top ten
8. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) -- $351.58 billion -- +9%)
Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson is eighth.
9. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) -- $328.47 billion -- +29%)
Number nine is Bank of America.
10. Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) -- $320.96 billion -- -1.0%)
Exxon Mobil ranks tenth and is the only company whose stock price has declined over the past 12 months.

Bitcoin Rises Despite Regulation Concerns

2018-02-23 14:02 GMT

Investing.com - Bitcoin eased from earlier losses on Friday to trade at over $10,000 despite regulators taking an increased concern in cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin was trading at $10,237, up 3.26% as of 9:01 AM ET (14:01 GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange after hitting an overnight low of $9,583.

Cryptocurrencies have rebounded in recent days after struggling to gain ground amid regulation concern. Bitcoin has rallied from its two month low of $6,000 on February 6. Still, the price is 20% lower for the year to date and far below its high of $20,000 in December.

Regulators have taken an increased interest in the digital currencies. On Thursday New York Fed President William Dudley described cryptocurrencies as “dangerous” and that there was a “speculative mania” about them. U.S. regulators are investigating the Bitfinex exchange over its links to digital coin Tether, amid fears that it is being used to artificially inflate bitcoin prices.

Meanwhile in Germany, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) was planning a “case-by-case examination” of ICO tokens, while France’s Autorite des Marches Financiers, the country’s top financial watchdog, has announced all cash-settled cryptocurrency contracts are subject to the country’s strict derivatives laws as well as an advertising ban.

The UK Treasury Committee is also launching an inquiry into cryptocurrencies to investigate whether the technology behind Bitcoin poses a risk to central banking.

Other cryptocurrencies were trading higher, with rival Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, rising 9.17% to $869.72 on the Bitfinex exchange.

The third largest cryptocurrency, Ripple, was up 8.43%% to trade at $0.96050 and Litecoin was last at $208.44, an increase of 9.11%.

Canadian Annual Inflation Rises 1.7% in January

2018-02-23 13:19 GMT

Investing.com - The overall rate of inflation in Canada picked up in January, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

The consumer price index rose 1.7% last month, compared with the same month a year earlier.

Prices rose by 0.7% from a month earlier.

Economists had expected annual inflation to increase by 1.4% and monthly inflation to rise by 0.4%.

Core inflation, which excludes gasoline, was up 1.2% from a year earlier and rose by 0.5% from the previous month.

The Bank of Canada aims to keep inflation at 2%, the midpoint of a target range of 1% to 3% over the medium term.

Gold Prices Hold Near 1-1/2 Week Lows on Dollar Strength

2018-02-23 13:24 GMT

Investing.com - Gold prices were hovering near one and-a-half-week lows on Friday, as expectations for multiple U.S. rate hikes this year continued to lend broad support to the greenback.

Comex gold futures were steady at $1,331.9 a troy ounce by 08:20 a.m. ET (12:20 GMT), just off Thursday's one-and-a-half week lows of $1,322.90.

The greenback remained broadly supported after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's January policy meeting showed that central bank officials see increased economic growth and rising inflation as justification to continue to raise interest rates gradually.

The dollar had been pressured lower recently by expectations for a faster pace of monetary tightening outside the U.S., which would lessen the divergence between the Fed and other central banks.

The U.S. currency was also boosted after the Labor Department reported on Thursday that initial jobless claims fell by 7,000 to 222,000 last week, compared to expectations for jobless claims to total 230,000.

Gold is sensitive to moves in both U.S. rates and the dollar. A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency, while a rise in U.S. rates lifts the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.21% at 89.84, just off a one-and-a-half week high of 90.17 hit on Thursday.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures slipped 0.10% to $16.57 a troy ounce.

Dollar Trims Gains But Remains Supported

2018-02-23 13:17 GMT

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar trimmed gains against other major currencies on Friday, but expectations for several U.S. rate hikes this year continued to support demand for the greenback.

The greenback remained broadly supported after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's January policy meeting showed that central bank officials see increased economic growth and rising inflation as justification to continue to raise interest rates gradually.

The dollar had been pressured lower recently by expectations for a faster pace of monetary tightening outside the U.S., which would lessen the divergence between the Fed and other central banks.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.18% at 89.82 by 08:13 a.m. ET (12:13 GMT), just off a one-and-a-half week high of 90.17 hit on Thursday.

The euro remained lower, with EUR/USD down 0.26% at 1.2298, while GBP/USD added 0.23% to 1.3986.

Official data earlier showed that euro zone consumer price inflation rose 1.3% year-over-year in January, in line with expectations.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices slipped 0.9% last month, also in line with expectations.

Elsewhere, the yen was steady, with USD/JPY at 106.74, while USD/CHF gained 0.31% to 0.9355.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were lower, with AUD/USD down 0.28% at 0.7823 and with NZD/USD declining 0.69% to 0.7291.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD was almost unchanged at 1.2696.

Wall Street Optimism Returns, As Correction Seems Like Blip

2018-02-23 12:46 GMT

Investing.com - Just weeks after the stock market correction, Wall Street firms are sounding bullish about stocks again.
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) reiterated its 3,000 price target for the S&P 500, saying its not the time to sell stocks.
The firm also said that rising interest rates do not pose a risk to stocks at this point, adding that there had been some over-reaction to inflation headlines.
BlackRock recently said it was bullish on stocks because the Trump administration's tax cuts were "supercharging" corporate earnings growth expectations.
JPMorgan Chase also said the correction was driven by technical factors, not by rising interest rates resulting from an uptick in inflation.
Wall Street was equally bullish before the correction.
Bank of America/Merrill Lynch's monthly fund mangers survey showed 30% thought the bull market would peak sometime in 2019 not in the second quarter of 2018 as previously thought

Stocks- U.S. Futures Rise as Investors Shake Off Inflation Concerns

2018-02-23 11:42 GMT

Investing.com – U.S. Futures pointed to a slightly higher opening bell on Friday, as investors shake off concern about increased interest rates.

The S&P 500 futures rose seven points or 0.26% to 2,718.50 as of 6:40 AM ET (11:40 GMT) while Dow futures increased 99 points or 0.40% to 25,120.0. Meanwhile tech heavy Nasdaq 100 futures was up 22 points or 0.33% to 6,811.0.

Worry over increased interest rates rose earlier in the week after hawkish minutes from the Federal Reserve showed members saw an uptick in inflation. A recent batch of stronger-than-expected U.S. inflation data has bolstered bets that the Fed could increase interest rates as many as four times this year, more than the three it currently forecasts.

Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc (NASDAQ:HMNY) was among the biggest gainers in pre-market trading, rising 2.85% after the company announced it was increasing its ownership of MoviePass. IT firm Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (NYSE:HPE) surged 9.99% after an upbeat earnings release, while education publisher Pearson (LON:PSON) PLC ADR (NYSE:PSO) increased 2.87% after it posted higher than expected earnings.

Elsewhere Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) was down 0.06% after sinking 6.1% on Thursday when Kylie Jenner tweeted that she no longer uses the social media app. Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSa) B PLC (NYSE:RDSb) fell 0.17% while Micro Focus International PLC ADR (NYSE:MFGP) slipped 1.24%.

In earnings news, the Royal Bank Of Canada (NYSE:RY) and Cinemark Holdings Inc (NYSE:CNK) all release their results, while Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKa) will release an update on Saturday.

In Europe stocks were mixed. Germany’s DAX rose four points or 0.03% while in France the CAC 40 decreased five points or 0.11% and in London, the FTSE 100 was down nine points or 0.04%. Meanwhile the pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 lost six points or 0.20% while Spain’s IBEX 35 slumped 83 points or 0.85%.

In commodities, gold futures were down 0.08% to $1,331.60 a troy ounce while crude oil futures fell 0.51% to $62.45 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was rose 0.21% to 89.85.

May’s Road to Brexit Jammed by Corbyn and European Commission

2018-02-23 11:38 GMT

Investing.com - Prime Minister Theresa May’s awayday looked to achieve objectives as ministers from both factions appeared pleased as they left the eight hour gathering on Thursday evening.

Obstacles remain for the prime minister however as the European Commission rejected the UK’s ‘cherry picked’ plans while a change in stance from the opposition Labour party could prove problematic.

Reports from the BBC and Financial Times suggested that ministers from both the remain and leave camps left Chequers content after spending the day at the prime minister’s country retreat in Buckinghamshire. The ministers are said to have agreed on a ‘Canada +++’ deal and to stick current EU rules, on its own terms.

In attempt to unite her cabinet, Theresa May invited her most senior cabinet ministers, dubbed the ‘warring committee’ to the retreat to thrash out differences in order to form a more united front ahead of transition talks, which will start at the EU summit on 22 March.

The prime minister is expected to give a speech based on the outcome of the awayday, setting out ‘the way forward’ for the country post-Brexit. She is also expected to deliver the conclusions from Chequers in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

The speech will be the final of a series of six ‘road to Brexit’ speeches given by key cabinet members, which aim to clarify the government position on the future relationship of the UK and EU following the UK's exit in March 2019. The PM’s office described the speeches as a ‘rallying cry to those on both sides of the Brexit debate’.

Foreign minister Boris Johnson kicked off the speeches last Wednesday in London, while Brexit secretary David Davis delivered a speech in Vienna on Tuesday. Theresa May gave the first of her speeches Munich on Saturday. Pro-leave trade minister Liam Fox and cabinet minister David Lidington are due to speak next week.

Philip Hammond, who toured Europe last week to meet with several European finance ministers, and has been criticised for his pro-EU stance, is not scheduled to make a ‘road to Brexit’ speech.

Theresa May spoke of her 'three basket approach' to Brexit, while Davis stressed plans to remain close to the EU, but on its own terms. As more details emerge of the UK's 'cherry picked' plans, the European Commission published a 59 page document on Wednesday titled ‘Slides on Regulatory Issues’ which reject the UK government proposals for future trade relations.

The Commission said in its paper that the UK would not have the same rights and benefits as members based on its proposed rejection of EU rules, and thus there would be 'no mutual recognition'. Davis suggested in his speech that through ‘mutual recognition’ the UK and EU could forge the same kind of deal that the EU already has with Canada and South Korea.

Further trouble emerged for May this week as Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party, looked to be softening his approach to Brexit as he hinted at staying in the customs union during a speech on Tuesday. Corbyn will make a Brexit speech on Monday, as his party agree on which amendments to put forward in the Brexit bill.

Corbyn’s support for a customs union muddies the waters for May as it could lead to a parliamentary majority in favour of an amendment to the Brexit bill to include a customs union clause.

The amendment, tabled by Conservative party member Stephen Hammond, has received cross-party support and could be the next big headache for Theresa May, who lost her majority in the June 2017 election.

The amendment reads: ‘It shall be the objective of an appropriate authority to take all steps to implement an international trade agreement which enables the UK to participate after exit day in a customs union with the EU.’

A vote in the House of Commons on the amendment was scheduled to take place next week, however the government announced on Friday that it would be delayed.

Coming To A City Near You -- Blockchain Mania

2018-02-23 11:16 GMT


Investing.com - Blockchain technology is turning into a blockbuster business -- in more ways than one.
Blockchain conferences have become a growth industry.
You'll find them all over the world -- India, Estonia, South Africa, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore. Dubai has two events.
In Switzerland, Blockchain Davos debuted this year alongside the famous annual gathering in the Alps.
Now, New York City will join London in holding a Blockchain Week.
New York wants to be the global capital of blockchain, and sees itself in competition with Silicon Valley, where annual conferences are held in San Francisco and Santa Clara.
If you're not on either coast, you can find a blockchain gathering in Chicago, Las Vegas or Miami.
Competition is clearly intense.
Dallas just hosted separate conferences in consecutive weeks.
And fittingly enough, Amsterdam will host a blockchain awards event in June.

Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Friday

2018-02-23 10:51 GMT

Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Friday, February 23:

1. Global Stocks Mixed As Traders Digest Fed Minutes

Global stocks partially recovered from losses posted after minutes of the Federal Reserve's January meeting underlined expectations for faster U.S. interest rate hikes, souring appetite for riskier assets around the world.

Asian markets ended broadly higher, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng and Japan's Nikkei 225 up 0.93% and 0.62% respectively, while China's Shanghai blue-chip index advanced 0.63%.

In Europe, stocks were notably lower in late morning trade. The Stoxx Europe 600 index, the region's broadest measure of share prices, rose 0.3%.

Meanwhile, early indications from U.S. futures suggested a higher open for Wall Street. Dow futures were up about 57 points, or around 0.2%, while S&P 500 futures gained 2 points, or about 0.9%. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 10 points, or roughly 0.1%.

U.S. stocks ended mixed on Wednesday, with the Dow signing its fourth consecutive session in the red.

2. Dollar, Treasury Yields Retreat But Remain Supported

The U.S. dollar premained within close distance of a one-and-a-half-week high hit in the previous session against a basket of major currencies, boosted by speculation the Fed will raise interest rates at a faster pace than currently expected.

The dollar index, which gauges the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, was up 0.13% at 89.78 by 05:45 a.m. ET (09:45 GMT), just off Thursday's one-and-a-half week high of 90.17.

Meanwhile, yields on the 10-year bond were last trading at 2.899%, just off Wednesday's four-year peak of 2.957% and not far from 3% - a huge psychological milestone for bulls and bears alike.

St Louis Fed President James Bullard tried to lessen expectations for four U.S. rate hikes in 2018, instead of the widely anticipated three. He said on Thursday that policymakers need to be careful not to increase rates too quickly because that could slow the economy.

3. Oil Prices Mixed After Upbeat EIA Weekly Supply Report

Oil prices initially strengthened after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday that crude oil inventories fell by 1.6 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 16, compared to expectations for a gain of around 1.8 million barrels.

The report came a day after the American Petroleum Institute reported a supply-drop of around 0.9 million barrels.

Both reports come out one day later than usual due to Monday's President's Day holiday.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude April contract slid 6 cents or about 0.57% to $62.41 a barrel by 06:00 a.m. ET (10:00 GMT), just off a more than two-week high of $63.09 hit on Thursday.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for April delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London retreated 45 cents or about 0.68% to $65.94 a barrel, after hitting a more than two-week peak of $66.56 on Thursday.

4. Bitcoin Hovers Around $10,000-Level

The prices of major cryptocurrencies were mixed although Bitcoin remained in the red for a third consecutive day.

The price of the world's biggest virtual currency by market cap, (Bitcoin) lost around 2% to $10,034, after hitting an overnight low of $9,583. After nearly doubling in price since the Feb. 6 low close to $6,000, traders have begun dumping some of their holdings, market participants said.

Other major digital currencies were mixed, with Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, gaining around 4% to $858.72, off a one-week low of $787.00 hit overnight.

The third largest cryptocurrency Ripple advanced around 0.5% to trade at $0.94511. It has declined more than 60% so far this year, making it one of the worst performing digital currencies of 2018.

5. Final Euro Zone Inflation Data

Official data earlier showed that euro zone consumer price inflation rose 1.3% year-over-year in January, in line with expectations.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices slipped 0.9% last month, also in line with expectations.

The euro was lower against the U.S. dollar following the news, with EUR/USD down 0.15% at 1.2311.

India stocks higher at close of trade; Nifty 50 up 1.04%

2018-02-23 10:45 GMT

Investing.com – India stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Metals, Healthcare and Power sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NSE, the Nifty 50 gained 1.04%, while the BSE Sensex 30 index climbed 0.95%.

The best performers of the session on the Nifty 50 were Tata Steel Ltd (NS:TISC), which rose 6.03% or 38.45 points to trade at 677.75 at the close. Meanwhile, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NS:SUN) added 6.01% or 32.55 points to end at 569.65 and UPL Ltd (NS:UPLL) was up 3.97% or 26.80 points to 700.55 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were GAIL Ltd (NS:GAIL), which fell 1.43% or 6.65 points to trade at 458.40 at the close. Asian Paints Ltd. (NS:ASPN) declined 1.53% or 17.15 points to end at 1101.80 and Eicher Motors Ltd. (NS:EICH) was down 0.50% or 133.50 points to 26724.40.

The top performers on the BSE Sensex 30 were Tata Steel Ltd (BO:TISC) which rose 6.26% to 677.80, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (BO:SUN) which was up 5.17% to settle at 570.20 and Yes Bank Ltd (BO:YESB) which gained 2.28% to close at 323.60.

The worst performers were Asian Paints Ltd. (BO:ASPN) which was down 1.38% to 1101.00 in late trade, Coal India Ltd (BO:COAL) which lost 0.51% to settle at 310.45 and Infosys Ltd (BO:INFY) which was down 0.42% to 1155.65 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the India National Stock Exchange by 1248 to 362 and 21 ended unchanged; on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1859 rose and 802 declined, while 143 ended unchanged.

The India VIX, which measures the implied volatility of Nifty 50 options, was down 4.25% to 14.2025.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.12% or 1.60 to $1331.10 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 0.61% or 0.38 to hit $62.39 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.68% or 0.45 to trade at $65.94 a barrel.

USD/INR was down 0.26% to 64.785, while EUR/INR fell 0.44% to 79.7634.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.13% at 89.78.

Sri Lanka stocks higher at close of trade; CSE All-Share up 0.06%

2018-02-23 10:45 GMT

Investing.com – Sri Lanka stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Motors, Services and Diversified Holdings sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Colombo, the CSE All-Share gained 0.06%.

The best performers of the session on the CSE All-Share were PC Pharma PLC (CM:PCPH), which rose 100.00% or 0.1000 points to trade at 0.2000 at the close. Meanwhile, Nuwara Eliya Hotels Co PLC (CM:NEH) added 15.68% or 169.40 points to end at 1250.00 and Tal Lanka Hotels PLC (CM:TAJ) was up 15.58% or 2.40 points to 17.80 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were PCH Holdings PLC (CM:PCHH), which fell 12.50% or 0.100 points to trade at 0.700 at the close. Ceylon Beverage Holdings PLC (CM:BREW) declined 12.37% or 98.80 points to end at 700.00 and Serendib Hotels PLC (CM:SHOT) was down 11.89% or 2.70 points to 20.00.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Colombo Stock Exchange by 81 to 68 and 63 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 0.57% or 0.36 to $62.41 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.68% or 0.45 to hit $65.94 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.11% or 1.50 to trade at $1331.20 a troy ounce.

GBP/LKR was up 0.21% to 216.795, while USD/LKR fell 0.01% to 155.190.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.13% at 89.78.

Bitcoin Struggles to Stay Over $10,000

2018-02-23 10:29 GMT

Investing.com - Bitcoin rallied over $10,000 on Friday, as it eased forward from earlier losses.

Bitcoin was trading at $10,074 as of 5:29 AM ET (10:29 GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange after hitting an overnight low of $9,583.

Regulation worries weighed down on cryptocurrencies, which had rebounded in recent days. Bitcoin has rallied from its two month low of $6,000 on February 6. Still, the price is 20% lower for the year to date.

European governments are preparing to a set of regulatory measures on digital currencies, which could continue to put pressure on cryptocurrencies. Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) was planning a “case-by-case examination” of ICO tokens, while France’s Autorite des Marches Financiers, the country’s top financial watchdog, has announced all cash-settled cryptocurrency contracts are subject to the country’s strict derivatives laws as well as an advertising ban.

Meanwhile, the UK Treasury Committee is launching an inquiry into cryptocurrencies to investigate whether the technology behind Bitcoin poses a risk to central banking.

Other cryptocurrencies were trading higher, with rival Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, rising 4.81% % to $954.61 on the Bitfinex exchange.

The third largest cryptocurrency, Ripple, was up 0.25% to trade at $0.94739on the Poloniex exchange. Litecoin was last at $206.21, a fall of 1.27%.

Indonesia stocks higher at close of trade; IDX Composite Index up 0.41%

2018-02-23 10:15 GMT

Investing.com – Indonesia stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Miscellaneous Industry, Mining and Trade sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Jakarta, the IDX Composite Index added 0.41%.

The best performers of the session on the IDX Composite Index were Pelayaran Nasional Bina Buana Raya (JK:BBRM), which rose 34.55% or 19 points to trade at 74 at the close. Meanwhile, Borneo Olah Sarana Sukses PT (JK:BOSS) added 25.00% or 350 points to end at 1750 and Cita Mineral Investindo Tbk PT (JK:CITA) was up 23.33% or 140 points to 740 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Lippo General Insurance Tbk (JK:LPGI), which fell 10.22% or 460 points to trade at 4040 at the close. Tira Austenite Tbk (JK:TIRA) declined 10.00% or 28.00 points to end at 252.00 and Sekar Bumi Tbk (JK:SKBM) was down 9.65% or 55 points to 515.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Jakarta Stock Exchange by 207 to 154 and 114 ended unchanged.

Shares in Pelayaran Nasional Bina Buana Raya (JK:BBRM) rose to 52-week highs; up 34.55% or 19 to 74. Shares in Lippo General Insurance Tbk (JK:LPGI) fell to 52-week lows; down 10.22% or 460 to 4040. Shares in Borneo Olah Sarana Sukses PT (JK:BOSS) rose to all time highs; up 25.00% or 350 to 1750.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 0.40% or 0.25 to $62.52 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.51% or 0.34 to hit $66.05 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.16% or 2.10 to trade at $1330.60 a troy ounce.

USD/IDR was down 0.00% to 13671.5, while AUD/IDR rose 0.64% to 10678.50.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.09% at 89.74.

Dollar Index Continues to Rise on U.S. Optimism

2018-02-23 10:02 GMT

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar continued to rise against other major currencies on Friday, after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting and Thursday's upbeat data boosted optimism over the strength of the U.S. economy.

The greenback was boosted after the U.S. Labor Department reported on Thursday that initial jobless claims fell by 7,000 to 222,000 last week, compared to expectations for jobless claims to total 230,000.

The data came a day after the minutes of the Fed's January policy meeting showed that central bank officials see increased economic growth and rising inflation as justification to continue to raise interest rates gradually.

The dollar had been pressured lower recently by expectations for a faster pace of monetary tightening outside the U.S., which would lessen the divergence between the Fed and other central banks.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.13% at 89.78 by 05:00 a.m. ET (09:00 GMT), just off a one-and-a-half week high of 90.17 hit on Thursday.

The euro was lower, with EUR/USD down 0.15% at 1.2310, while GBP/USD added 0.16% to 1.3974.

Official data earlier showed that euro zone consumer price inflation rose 1.3% year-over-year in January, in line with expectations.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices slipped 0.9% last month, also in line with expectations.

Elsewhere, the yen and the Swiss franc were weaker, with USD/JPY rising 0.12% to 106.88 and with USD/CHF edging up 0.16% to 0.9339.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were lower, with AUD/USD down 0.28% at 0.7823 and with NZD/USD declining 0.52% to 0.7303.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD held steady at 1.2711.

Philippines stocks lower at close of trade; PSEi Composite down 0.56%

2018-02-23 08:35 GMT

Investing.com – Philippines stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Banking&Financials, Property and Industrials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Philippines, the PSEi Composite fell 0.56% to hit a new 1-month low.

The best performers of the session on the PSEi Composite were Metro Pacific Investments Corp (PS:MPI), which rose 2.13% or 0.120 points to trade at 5.750 at the close. Meanwhile, Semirara Mining Corp (PS:SCC) added 1.77% or 0.65 points to end at 37.30 and LT Group Inc (PS:LTG) was up 1.75% or 0.400 points to 23.250 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Security Bank Corp (PS:SECB), which fell 2.98% or 7.60 points to trade at 247.40 at the close. JG Summit Holdings Inc (PS:JGS) declined 2.75% or 2.050 points to end at 72.500 and San Miguel Corp (PS:SMC) was down 2.08% or 3.00 points to 141.00.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Philippines Stock Exchange by 121 to 91 and 39 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.17% or 2.20 to $1330.50 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 0.18% or 0.11 to hit $62.66 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.27% or 0.18 to trade at $66.21 a barrel.

CNY/PHP was up 0.19% to 8.1886, while USD/PHP fell 0.43% to 51.895.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.18% at 89.82.

Japan stocks higher at close of trade; Nikkei 225 up 0.62%

2018-02-23 07:45 GMT

Investing.com – Japan stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Marine Transport, Insurance and Automobiles&Parts sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.62%.

The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Tokuyama Corp. (T:4043), which rose 7.53% or 230.0 points to trade at 3285.0 at the close. Meanwhile, The Kansai Electric Power Co. (T:9503) added 4.95% or 62.5 points to end at 1324.5 and Pacific Metals Co., Ltd. (T:5541) was up 4.55% or 145.0 points to 3335.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Ube Industries, Ltd. (T:4208), which fell 6.37% or 215.0 points to trade at 3160.0 at the close. Kao Corp. (T:4452) declined 2.45% or 194.0 points to end at 7730.0 and Yokogawa Electric Corp. (T:6841) was down 1.63% or 36.0 points to 2175.0.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 2465 to 943 and 159 ended unchanged.

The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was up 8.93% to 25.01.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 0.05% or 0.03 to $62.74 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.02% or 0.01 to hit $66.38 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.29% or 3.90 to trade at $1328.80 a troy ounce.

USD/JPY was up 0.30% to 107.07, while EUR/JPY fell 0.03% to 131.58.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.30% at 89.93.

Crude Oil Prices Mixed After Positive U.S. Supply Data

2018-02-23 07:10 GMT

Investing.com - Crude oil prices were mixed on Friday, hovering close to more than two-week highs as traders were digesting the previous session's positive U.S. supply data.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude April contract was steady at $62.73 a barrel by 02:05 a.m. ET (06:05 GMT), just off a more than two-week high of $63.09 hit on Thursday.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for April delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London slipped 7 cents or about 0.12% to $66.31 a barrel, after hitting a more than two-week peak of $66.56 on Thursday.

Oil prices moved higher after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday that crude oil inventories fell by 1.6 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 16, compared to expectations for a gain of around 1.8 million barrels.

The report came a day after the American Petroleum Institute reported a supply-drop of around 0.9 million barrels.

Both reports come out one day later than usual due to Monday's President's Day holiday.

Fears that rising U.S. output could dampen global efforts to rid the market of excess supplies have systematically limited oil prices' gains recently.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), along with some non-OPEC members led by Russia, agreed in December to extend oil output cuts until the end of 2018.

The deal to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day (bpd) was adopted last winter by OPEC, Russia and nine other global producers. The agreement was due to end in March 2018, having already been extended once.

Elsewhere, gasoline futures eased up 0.08% to $1.769 a gallon, while natural gas futures dropped 0.73% to $2.597 per million British thermal units.

Asian Equities Ends Week On Positive Note As Fears of Rate Hikes Ease

2018-02-23 06:57 GMT

Investing.com - Asian stocks traded mostly higher Friday to end the week on a positive note as the Dow and the S&P 500 reversed some of their midweek pullback, while comments from a Federal Reserve official eased concerns of speeding up rate hikes this year.

The U.S. markets were little changed Thursday, as the Dow added 0.7%, the S&P 500 closed just in the green, while the Nasdaq lost 0.11%.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard warned that too many rate hikes this year would restrict economic growth, and that he did not expect the years of below-target inflation to change rapidly.

Japan’s CPI was in focus as the data showed inflation rose 0.9% in January from a year earlier, compared with a median market forecast of 0.8%. The data brought some uncertainty over the economic outlook as it showed the country’s inflation remains distant from the central bank’s 2% target. The yen however showed little reaction following the release of the data, while the Nikkei closed 0.62% higher.

Finance Minister Taro Aso’s comment gathered some attention as he said he wanted to raise the national sales tax as scheduled in October 2019, to 10% from 8% now. Takata Corp (OTC:TKTDQ) also received some focus as the airbag producer settled $650 million in claims.

Mainland Chinese markets were mixed Friday afternoon after both major indices surged more than 2% Thursday, the first day of trading after the long Chinese New Year break.

The Shanghai Composite gained 0.45% while Shenzhen Composite lost 0.24% by 1:35am ET. Anbang Insurance made headlines as China’s Insurance Regulatory Commission said it would take control of the company for one year as the company had illegal business operations that could harm its solvency, and had asked the company to remove Wu Xiaohui from its chairman role. China’s January property price data is due tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index clawed back some losses and gained 1.1% by mid-afternoon Friday.

Casino operator Wynn Macau Ltd. received some focus as U.S. regulators said the sexual harassment investigation was still ongoing and would be a priority for them. Hong Kong-listed Wynn Macau Ltd (HK:1128) was up 1.13% to $26.75.

South Korea’s Bank of Korea is set to hold its key interest rate unchanged at 1.5% next week, a survey showed, adding that the central bank is on course to raise them in May.

Elsewhere, Australis’ S&P/ASX 200 extended its gains from the morning and closed 0.82% higher, supported by the materials sector.

Taiwan stocks higher at close of trade; Taiwan Weighted up 1.24%

2018-02-23 06:45 GMT

Investing.com – Taiwan stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Paper&Pulp, Glass and Oil, Gas&Electricity sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Taiwan, the Taiwan Weighted rose 1.24%.

The best performers of the session on the Taiwan Weighted were Favite Inc (TW:3535), which rose 10.00% or 1.25 points to trade at 13.75 at the close. Meanwhile, Hai Kwang Enterprise Corp (TW:2038) added 9.96% or 1.25 points to end at 13.80 and Weikeng Industrial Co Ltd (TW:3033) was up 9.95% or 2.05 points to 22.65 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Century Iron And Steel Industrial Co Ltd (TW:9958), which fell 9.89% or 6.20 points to trade at 56.50 at the close. VIA Technologies Inc (TW:2388) declined 9.47% or 1.95 points to end at 18.65 and Lung Hwa Electronics Co Ltd (TW:2424) was down 9.17% or 3.10 points to 30.70.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Taiwan Stock Exchange by 649 to 171 and 96 ended unchanged.

Shares in Hai Kwang Enterprise Corp (TW:2038) rose to 5-year highs; gaining 9.96% or 1.25 to 13.80. Shares in Weikeng Industrial Co Ltd (TW:3033) rose to 52-week highs; up 9.95% or 2.05 to 22.65.

Crude oil for April delivery was up 0.05% or 0.03 to $62.80 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.03% or 0.02 to hit $66.37 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.25% or 3.30 to trade at $1329.40 a troy ounce.

USD/TWD was down 0.10% to 29.265, while TWD/CNY fell 0.32% to 0.2169.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.22% at 89.86.

Cryptocurrencies In Red As Bitcoin Plummets Below $10,000 Mark

2018-02-23 06:43 GMT

Investing.com – Cryptocurrencies continued yesterday’s downward slide and traded in the red on Friday, with Bitcoin plunged below the $10,000 mark after rallied to close to $12,000 last week.

Bitcoin was trading at $9,757.1 by 1:15pm ET on the Bitfinex exchange, plunged 9.65% over the previous 24 hours.

Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was down 4.34% at $824.62 on the Bitfinex exchange.

Ripple’s XRP token dived 9.32% to $0.89708 on the Poloniex exchange.

Meanwhile, Litecoin also plunged 12.78% to $190.21.

Governments in Europe were reporedly preparing a set of regulatory measures on crypto this week. German’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) was planning a “case-by-case examination” of ICO tokens, while France’s Autorite des Marches Financiers, the country’s top financial watchdog, has announced all cash-settled cryptocurrency contracts are subject to the country’s strict derivatives laws as well as an advertising ban.

It was reported yesterday that the UK Treasury Committee was launching an inquiry into cryptocurrencies to investigate whether the technology behind Bitcoin poses a risk to central banking.

Elsewhere, The Korea Accounting Institute said yesterday that it was considering whether to classify cryptocurrencies into liquid assets or non-current assets in financial statements.

Gold Prices Slip on Stronger Dollar

2018-02-23 05:48 GMT

Investing.com – Gold prices slipped on Friday as the dollar rebounded from earlier losses.

Gold futures for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 3.80, or 0.29%, to $1,328.80 a troy ounce by 12:50pm ET. The precious metal was on track to finish the week with its biggest weekly fall since early December in 2017.

The US dollar index that measures the greenback against a basket of currencies stood at 89.78, up 0.13%, but dropped from an eight-day peak above the 90 mark yesterday.

Meanwhile, U.S. treasury 10-year note yields rose to 2.957% on Wednesday, its four-year high, before dropping to 2.904% on Thursday and rebounding to 2.928% on Friday.

St Louis Fed President James Bullard warned on Thursday that too many rate hikes this year would restrict economy growth, and that he did not expect the years of below-target inflation to change rapidly.

Gold is sensitive to moves in both bond yields and the U.S. dollar – A weaker dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of foreign currency raising demand while a fall in U.S. bond yields, limits the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

Asian stocks were mixed on Friday to end the week on a positive note as the Dow and the S&P 500 reversed some of its midweek pullback. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index led the gain in the morning but gave back some of its profit later on, gaining 0.71% by 12pm ET. Mainland Chinese markets were the underperformers in the region, with Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Component losing 0.15% and 0.31% respectively.

Australia stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.82%

2018-02-23 05:30 GMT

Investing.com – Australia stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Gold, Metals&Mining and Materials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.82%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Nextdc Ltd (AX:NXT), which rose 10.36% or 0.630 points to trade at 6.710 at the close. Meanwhile, Mayne Pharma Group Ltd (AX:MYX) added 10.00% or 0.070 points to end at 0.770 and Tassal Group Ltd (AX:TGR) was up 7.97% or 0.290 points to 3.930 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Nanosonics Ltd (AX:NAN), which fell 12.08% or 0.360 points to trade at 2.620 at the close. Platinum Asset Management Ltd (AX:PTM) declined 11.89% or 0.930 points to end at 6.890 and Southern Cross Media Group Ltd (AX:SXL) was down 9.49% or 0.113 points to 1.073.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Sydney Stock Exchange by 796 to 460 and 327 ended unchanged.

Shares in Nextdc Ltd (AX:NXT) rose to all time highs; gaining 10.36% or 0.630 to 6.710.

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was down 6.60% to 13.325.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.29% or 3.80 to $1328.90 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 0.08% or 0.05 to hit $62.72 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.14% or 0.09 to trade at $66.30 a barrel.

AUD/USD was down 0.31% to 0.7821, while AUD/JPY fell 0.10% to 83.68.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.22% at 89.86.

Oil Prices Climb In Asia Morning Amid Sudden Drop In U.S. Crude Stockpiles

2018-02-23 04:35 GMT

Investing.com - Oil prices were up Friday morning in Asia, boosted by an unexpected decline in U.S. crude inventories.

Crude Oil WTI Futures for April delivery were trading at $62.88 a barrel in Asia by 11:50am ET, up 0.18%. Brent crude Futures for April delivery, traded in London, were up 0.30% at $66.45 per barrel.

U.S. crude inventories had been forecast to rise 1.8 million barrels. But as net imports fell to a record low while exports surged, crude stockpiles saw an unexpected decline by 1.6 million barrels last week. Inventories dropped further at the key storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The drop at Cushing was because prompt crude prices were higher than forward prices, discouraging storage as it makes more sense to liquidate on-hand inventories.

Meanwhile, U.S. crude exports jumped to more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd), close to the record 2.1 million bpd in October. Production increase is steady, and the U.S. is set to overtake Russia in crude oil output by late 2018, making it the largest global supplier.

The largest privately owned crude terminal in the U.S., the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), recently completed the first very large crude carrier (VLCC) crude oil loading operation. The super carriers can ship around 2 million barrels of oil.

This timely development comes as demand for oil continues to surge in Asia, especially China.

A drop in the U.S. currency from an eight-day peak also supported oil prices, as dollar-denominated oil is now cheaper for other countries to import.

Strengthened by healthy demand growth in Asia, oil prices are slowly inching closer to the highs of the beginning of February. WTI started February at $65.80 and Brent started at $69.65

Yen Mutes On CPI Data; Dollar Loses Rally

2018-02-23 03:22 GMT

Investing.com - The yen was in the limelight Friday morning Asia after the release of Japan's CPI data, while the dollar pared after losing its momentum.

The US dollar index that measures the greenback against a basket of currencies stood at 89.78 at 11pm ET, up 0.13%. The greenback fell back from the 90 handle seen Thursday.

The U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said President Trump’s policies would raise U.S. wages but would not cause broader inflation. “You can have wage inflation and not necessarily have inflation concerns in general,” he said, easing investors’ concern for higher inflation and interest rates. Fed officials also warned that more rate hikes would restrict economic growth.

The USD/JPY rose 0.12% to 106.87, as Japan’s national CPI rose 0.9% year-on-year compared to the expected 0.8%. Inflation was still growing slowly and was far from the Bank of Japan’s 2 percent target, although the yen showed little reaction following the release of the data.

The economists also predicted the country’s central bank would keep the long-term bond yield target at zero percent for all this year – a major part of its ultra-loosening monetary policy implemented under the Bank’s reappointed governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

Meanwhile, the AUD/USD pair slipped 0.22% to 0.7827. A top money manager of the country predicted the Aussie will keep depreciating as the Reserve Bank of Australia keeps interest rates at a low level while its U.S. counterpart would hike rates more frequently this year.

Elsewhere, the People’s Bank of China set the fix rate against dollar at 6.3482 versus yesterday’s 6.3530. The USD/CNY pair was quoted at 6.3378, down 0.15%.

Asian Equities Advance; Japan's CPI In Focus

2018-02-23 02:53 GMT

Investing.com - Asian stocks advanced in morning trading Friday to end the week on a positive note as the Dow and the S&P 500 reversed some of its midweek pullback, while comments from a Federal Reserve official eased concerns of speeding up rate hikes this year.

The U.S. markets were little changed Thursday, as the Dow added 0.7 percent, the S&P 500 closed just in the green, while the Nasdaq lost 0.11 percent. St Louis Fed President James Bullard warned that too many rate hikes this year would restrict economy growth, and that he did not expect the years of below-target inflation to change rapidly.

Japan’s CPI was in focus as the data showed inflation rose 0.9% in January from a year earlier, compared with a median market forecast of 0.8%. The data brought some uncertainty over the economic outlook as it showed the country’s inflation remains distant from the central bank’s 2% target. The yen was pressured by the stalling inflation as USD/JPY gained 0.10% to $106.86 by 10am ET. The Nikkei was up 0.34%. Takata Corp (OTC:TKTDQ) received some focus as the airbag maker reached a $650 million deal to settle consumer protection claims in the States.

Mainland Chinese markets extended their gains after surging more than 2% yesterday. Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Component jumped 0.62% and 0.34% higher respectively. Anbang Insurance made headlines as China’s Insurance Regulatory Commission said it would take control of the company for one year as the company had illegal business operations that may harm its solvency, and had asked the company to remove Wu Xiaohui from its chairman role. China’s January property prices data is due tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index clawed back some of its losses today and gained 1.4%. Wynn received some focus as U.S. regulators said the investigation was still ongoing and would be a priority. Hong Kong-listed Wynn Macau 's (HK:1128) share price was up 1.13% to $26.75.

Elsewhere, Australis’ S&P/ASX 200 was trading up 0.6% to 5,986.5, supported by the materials sector.

Mexico stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/BMV IPC up 0.89%

2018-02-22 22:29 GMT

Investing.com – Mexico stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Materials, Consumer Staples and Healthcare sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Mexico, the S&P/BMV IPC added 0.89%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/BMV IPC were Mexichem , S.A.B. De C.V. (MX:MEXCHEM), which rose 6.57% or 3.380 points to trade at 54.850 at the close. Meanwhile, Genomma Lab Internacional SAB De CV (MX:LABB) added 2.90% or 0.550 points to end at 19.510 and Becle SA (MX:CUERVO) was up 2.61% or 0.840 points to 33.000 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were VOLARIS A (MX:VOLARA), which fell 3.43% or 0.59 points to trade at 16.59 at the close. Alpek, S.A.B. De C.V. (MX:ALPEKA) declined 1.98% or 0.520 points to end at 25.700 and Nemak SAB de CV (MX:NEMAKA) was down 1.37% or 0.19 points to 13.64.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Mexico Stock Exchange by 164 to 135 and 13 ended unchanged.

Shares in Mexichem, S.A.B. De C.V. (MX:MEXCHEM) rose to 3-years highs; up 6.57% or 3.380 to 54.850.

Gold Futures for April delivery was up 0.14% or 1.90 to $1334.00 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 1.54% or 0.95 to hit $62.63 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.03% or 0.02 to trade at $66.23 a barrel.

USD/MXN was down 0.05% to 18.5942, while EUR/MXN fell 0.09% to 22.9249.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.41% at 89.66.

Brazil stocks higher at close of trade; Bovespa up 0.74%

2018-02-22 21:30 GMT

Investing.com – Brazil stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Public Utilities, Consumption and Financials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Sao Paulo, the Bovespa gained 0.74% to hit a new all time high.

The best performers of the session on the Bovespa were Viavarejo Unt (SA:VVAR11), which rose 5.08% or 1.34 points to trade at 27.70 at the close. Meanwhile, Lojas Renner SA (SA:LREN3) added 3.81% or 1.33 points to end at 36.23 and Banco do Brasil SA (SA:BBAS3) was up 3.11% or 1.28 points to 42.40 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were CCR SA (SA:CCRO3), which fell 3.61% or 0.55 points to trade at 14.70 at the close. EcoRodovias SA (SA:ECOR3) declined 2.93% or 0.31 points to end at 10.27 and Suzano Papel e Celulose SA (SA:SUZB3) was down 2.85% or 0.65 points to 22.15.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the BM&FBovespa Stock Exchange by 208 to 204 and 42 ended unchanged.

Shares in Banco do Brasil SA (SA:BBAS3) rose to all time highs; rising 3.11% or 1.28 to 42.40.

The CBOE Brazil Etf Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Bovespa options, was down 3.09% to 28.89.

Gold Futures for April delivery was up 0.08% or 1.00 to $1333.10 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 1.65% or 1.02 to hit $62.70 a barrel, while the May US coffee C contract rose 1.85% or 2.20 to trade at $121.12 .

USD/BRL was down 0.62% to 3.2488, while EUR/BRL fell 0.28% to 4.0043.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.38% at 89.69.

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