Asia Morning August 17

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Asia Morning: U.S. Stocks End Flat Friday

On Friday, U.S. stocks were little changed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 34 points (+0.12%) to 27931, while the S&P 500 was flat at 3372 and the Nasdaq 100 eased 13 points (-0.12%) to 11164.

Dow Jones Industrial Average: Daily Chart:

Source: GAIN Capital, TradingView

Still, no progress was made on political negotiations over the new coronavirus relief package. 

Energy (+0.94%), Transportation (+0.91%) and Food & Staples Retailing (+0.73%) sectors traded higher, while Utilities (-0.91%), Commercial & Professional Services (-0.51%) and Household & Personal Products (-0.39%) sectors were under pressure. McKesson Corp (MCK +4.26%), DXC Technology (DXC +3.92%) and Applied Materials (AMAT +3.92%) were top gainers. 

Note that shares of China-based companies Baidu (BIDU -6.29%) and Iqiyi (IQ -11.16%) slid.

Regarding U.S. economic data, Retail Sales gained 1.2% on month in July (+2.1% expected) and Industrial Production gained 3.0% (as expected). The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index rose to 72.8 in a preliminary August reading (72.0 expected).

Due later today is the U.S. Empire State Manufacturing Survey (a decline to 14.5 in August expected).

European stocks remained under pressure. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1.20%, Germany's DAX 30 declined 0.71%, France's CAC 40 shed 1.58%, and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 lost 1.55%.

U.S. government bond prices stabilized, as the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield eased to 0.708% from 0.716% Thursday.

Spot gold price declined $8.00 (-0.44%) to $1,945 an ounce halting a two-day rebound. Spot silver price shed 3.88% to $26.44 an ounce.

U.S. WTI crude oil futures (September) dipped 0.5% to $42.02 a barrel.

On the forex front, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index dropped 0.3% on day to 93.10, posting a three-day decline.

EUR/USD rose 0.3% to 1.1841. Official data showed that the eurozone's GDP contracted 15.0% on year in the second quarter (as expected).

GBP/USD gained 0.2% to 1.3084.

USD/JPY lost 0.3% to 106.59. This morning, Japan's second quarter annualized GDP shrank 27.8% on quarter (-26.9% expected), the largest decline in record, according to the government.

USD/CAD advanced 0.4% to 1.3266, halting a four-day losing streak. Government data showed that Canada's manufacturing sales grew 20.7% on month in June (+16.4% expected).

Other commodity-linked currencies were mixed against the greenback. AUD/USD rose 0.3% to 0.7171 while NZD/USD slipped 0.1% to 0.6538. Official data showed that China's industrial production grew 4.8% on year in July (+5.1% expected) while retail sales dropped 1.1% (+0.1% expected).

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