Business

Wall Street almost stable before a three-day break

The New York Stock Exchange ended close to balance on Friday before a long weekend in the United States, in a market concerned about the escalation of geopolitical tensions between China and the United States.

Its flagship index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, lost 0.04% to 24,465.16 points.

The highly technological Nasdaq took 0.43% to 9,324.59 points.

The broad S&P 500 index gained 0.24% to 2,955.45 points.

Overall for the week, the Dow Jones rose 3.3%, the Nasdaq 3.4% and the S&P 500 3.2%, their biggest weekly gains since April.

The New York place closed its doors Friday for three days, Monday being a public holiday in the United States. Wall Street will reopen Tuesday morning.

Market players have closely followed the latest developments between the United States and China.

Already strained over the coronavirus, relations between the two countries have soured after a Chinese bill on Friday to allow the central government to apply a “national security law” in Hong Kong.

The United States has accused China of wanting to deliver a “fatal blow” to the autonomy of the former British colony, threatening trade reprisals on this new front.

For Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services, these tensions do not, however, threaten the equilibrium of the stock market.

“The markets have learned a big lesson for years: do not listen to geopolitics to find a direction,” notes the expert.

“If trade relations between the United States and China degenerate, it would really weigh on the indices,” he added, noting that this was not the case at the moment.

Beijing has repeatedly said that it does not intend to question its commitments made in the preliminary trade agreement signed in January with Washington.

China, which has given up setting a growth target for 2020, realizes that it is not in a position of strength, underline several analysts.

On the United States side, “Donald Trump knows that” toughening the tone on the commercial level would have negative effects for the American economy and for the markets, “said Mr. Volokhine.

The American president had made the good economic health of the country the main argument of his re-election campaign before the coronavirus crisis.

“But it can harden the tone on Hong Kong or on relations with Taiwan without putting a risk on trade reports and stock market indices,” notes Mr. Volokhine.

– “Promising” results –

Among the stocks, Moderna gained 2.91%. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute for Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said on public radio NPR Friday that preliminary results from clinical trials by the US biotechnology company for a coronavirus vaccine were “promising.” ”

The scientific community remains cautious about these results, which relate to only eight volunteers. Large-scale trials are planned for July.

Chip and graphics card maker Nvidia rose 2.86%. The company announced quarterly results above market expectations and optimistic prospects for the rest of the year.

Deere, however, fell 1.47%. The farm equipment specialist reported better than expected sales, but also said he expected a 30 to 40% drop in world sales of his products due to the drop in demand caused by the coronavirus.

On the bond market, the 10-year rate on the US debt fell slightly, to 0.6591% against 0.6720% Thursday evening.

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