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Markets

Dollar Gains, Stocks Mixed in Pre-Holiday Trading: Markets Wrap

Updated on

Dollar Gains, Stocks Mixed in Pre-Holiday Trading: Markets Wrap

  • Treasuries hold steady; bitcoin plunges; metals advance
  • Spanish equities reel on Catalan vote results; oil wavers
The Catalonia tension will "bend" but not "break" the euro in 2018, Stephen Gallo of BMO Capital Markets says.

The dollar advanced and U.S. equities were mixed in the last trading session before Christmas, while bitcoin plunged at the close of a tumultuous week for cryptocurrencies.

With volume running about 25 percent below average, the S&P 500 Index was little changed as declines in consumer, health-care and financial stocks were countered by real estate and energy. Bitcoin’s slump entered a fourth day, with the digital currency enduring its worst week since January 2015. Chipmakers were among the biggest decliners in the S&P.

Reports showed U.S. consumer spending rose more than forecast in November and an inflation gauge advanced, signs of economic vitality that should keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise rates in 2018. Although Treasuries stabilized, they were set for the biggest weekly loss since September as investors contemplate prospects for continued growth and reduced central bank stimulus. 

Bitcoin's Rough Ride

Catalan separatist parties triumphed in regional elections, reigniting Spain’s political trauma and diverting focus from data on consumer spending, wholesale prices and gross domestic product from France and the Netherlands which underscored the region’s health.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped with Spain’s Ibex 35 leading the declines. The country’s bonds also fell along with peripheral European government debt before recovering, while bunds were little changed after a selloff this week drove yields to five-week highs.  

Brian Battle of Performance Trust Capital Partners discusses bitcoin’s history of price drops.

Source: Bloomberg

West Texas oil wavered between gains and losses as U.S. crude stockpiles dropped to their lowest level in more than two years. Copper and gold rose, and the Bloomberg Commodity Index advanced for the eighth straight day.

Equities in Asia ended largely in the green, with Japan’s Topix Index reaching its highest level since 1991.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index fell less than 0.05 percent as of 4:03 p.m. New York time.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.1 percent.  
  • The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index declined 0.1 percent. 
  • Germany’s DAX Index decreased 0.3 percent. 

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced 0.2 percent. 
  • The euro decreased 0.2 percent to $1.1856, the first retreat in a week. 
  • The British pound dipped 0.2 percent to $1.3365. 
  • The Japanese yen increased less than 0.05 percent to 113.28 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped less than one basis point to 2.48 percent. 
  • Germany’s 10-year yield climbed less than one basis point to 0.42 percent. 
  • Britain’s 10-year yield fell two basis points to 1.241 percent.
  • Spain’s 10-year yield gained less than one basis point to 1.472 percent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.1 percent to $58.31 a barrel. 
  • Gold gained 0.6 percent to $1,274.23 an ounce, the highest in more than two weeks. 
  • LME copper increased 0.6 percent to $7,125 a metric ton, the highest in more than two months.
  • The Bloomberg bitcoin composite fell 6.9 percent to $14,325.

— With assistance by Boris Korby, Chris Anstey, Namitha Jagadeesh, and Robert Brand