markets

U.S. Stocks End Busy Day Lower on Trade Tensions: Markets Wrap

Updated on
  • Volume soars on quadruple-witching; crude slips before OPEC
  • Bonds jump as demand for risk recedes; EM stocks slammed
Pimco’s Geraldine Sundstrom says safe duration still has a place in portfolios.

Stocks fell on the final day of a week that included the U.S.-North Korea summit, major central bank meetings and escalating trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

The S&P 500 Index declined in heavy trading on a quadruple-witching Friday, a quarterly event when futures and options contracts on indexes and individual stocks expire. The U.S. and China spent the day exchanging tariff threats, which drove down tech and industrial stocks, while a drop in the price of oil hit energy shares. Consumer staples and telecoms advanced, offsetting some of the drop, and the index finished with a weekly gain, if only barely.

Treasury yields dipped and Italian debt led a rally in European bonds, which was triggered a day earlier by the ECB ruling out a rise in interest rates until the second half of 2019. The euro gained after Thursday’s slump and the dollar was steady. West Texas crude slipped in the run-up to next week’s OPEC meeting, where a clash over production limits is brewing.

With reports suggesting America is already preparing a second list of targeted goods worth as much as $100 billion, China said it doesn’t want a trade war but would have to counter. Stocks in the country fell earlier, and the Shanghai Composite gauge closed at its lowest level since September 2016.

John Veroneau, partner at law firm Covington & Burling, discusses the U.S. announcing new tariffs against China.

(Source: Bloomberg)

Emerging markets remain under pressure as worries about an overhaul of Argentina’s central-bank leadership roil the peso. South Korea’s won and Colombia’s peso led declines Friday. Meanwhile, Russia’s ruble pared a decline after the central bank extended a pause in monetary easing and said its shift to looser policy needs to be slower.

Terminal users can read more in Bloomberg’s Markets Live blog.

Here are the main market moves:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index decreased 0.1 percent as of 4:01 p.m. New York time.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index decreased 1 percent.
  • The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index sank 1.7 percent.
  • Germany’s DAX Index decreased 0.7 percent.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index decreased 1 percent to the lowest in six months.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained less than 0.05 percent.
  • The euro gained 0.4 percent to $1.1609.
  • The British pound gained 0.1 percent to $1.3278.
  • The Japanese yen advanced less than 0.05 percent to 110.61 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined one basis point to 2.92 percent.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield declined two basis points to 0.40 percent.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield decreased one basis point to 1.328 percent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude decreased 3.4 percent to $64.64 a barrel, the biggest drop in over two weeks.
  • Gold sank 1.7 percent to $1,280.15 an ounce.
  • LME copper sank 2.2 percent to $7,020 per metric ton, the lowest in more than a week.

— With assistance by Cormac Mullen, and Joe Easton

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