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Stock Market, Oil, Gold and Currencies Review of the Past Week

— The Dow on the New York Stock Exchange closed higher on Friday (March 18), while the Nasdaq was supported by significant gains in technology stocks. The meeting between US President Joe Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping on the Ukraine crisis ended without much of a surprise.

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 34,754.93, up 274.17, or +0.80%.
  • The S&P 500 closed at 4,463.12, up 51.45, or +1.17%.
  • The NASDAQ closed at 13,893.84 points, up 279.06 points, or +2.05%.

— Crude oil futures closed higher but fell for the second week in a row after volatile trading this week. Concerns about a shortage in oil markets following the imposition of sanctions against Russia remain present.

  • WTI crude futures were up $1.72, or 1.7%, at $104.70 a barrel, but were down 4.2%for the week.
  • BRENT crude futures were up $1.29, or 1.2%, at $107.93 a barrel, but were down 4.2% for the week.

— Gold contracts closed lower under pressure from a stronger dollar, posting their biggest weekly decline since November 2021. In addition, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates last week for the first time since 2018.

  • Gold fell $13.9, or 0.72%, at $1,929.3 an ounce and was down about 2.8% for the week.
  • Silver was down 52.9 cents, or 2.07%, at $25.087 an ounce.
  • The platinum was up $4.6, or 0.45%, at $1,035.9 per ounce.
  • The palladium contract was up $1.0, or 0.04%, at $2,493 an ounce.

— The U.S. dollar strengthened against the euro and the yen after the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) raised interest rates for the first time on Wednesday (March 16) and plans to raise rates again this year to curb inflation.

  • The dollar index against the six major currencies in a basket of currencies was up 0.27% at 98.2360.
  • The euro was lower to $1.1056 from $1.1105.
  • The pound strengthened against the US dollar at $1.3184 from $1.3156.
  • The Australian dollar rose to $0.749 from $0.7377.
  • The US dollar strengthened against the yen at 119.12 yen from 118.59 yen.
  • The dollar weakened against the Swiss franc to 0.9320 francs from 0.9366 francs.
  • The US dollar was also lower against the Canadian dollar at 1.2600 Canadian dollars from 1.2644 Canadian dollars.
  • The baht closed at 33.35 baht per dollar after hitting a two-month low of 33.55 baht per dollar at the beginning of last week.

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