The financial markets closed last week with noteworthy developments, influenced by a mix of economic data and global events. Here’s a comprehensive summary of the key market movements from the past week:
Stock Market Surges on Unemployment Data
The Dow Jones New York stock market ended the week on a high note, fueled by positive unemployment rate data. The Federal Reserve’s potential decision to halt interest rate hikes in September also boosted investor sentiment.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 34,837.71 points, reflecting a gain of 115.80 points or +0.33%.
- The S&P500 finished at 4,515.77, up 8.11 points or +0.18%.
- Nasdaq, however, experienced a slight dip, closing at 14,031.81, down 3.15 points or -0.02%.
Oil Prices Reach New Highs
Crude oil contracts soared to their highest levels this year, primarily due to tightening oil supply and the release of a survey on Chinese manufacturing activity. These factors provided strong support for the oil market as it headed into a three-day market closure for the Labor Day holiday in the United States.
- WTI crude futures surged by $1.92, or 2.3%, to close at $85.55 per barrel. This marked the highest closing level since November 16, 2022, with a weekly increase of 7.2% and a monthly gain of 2.2%.
- BRENT crude futures also climbed, rising by $1.72, or 2%, to close at $88.55 per barrel. This closing level had not been seen since November 17, 2022, and was accompanied by a weekly gain of 5.5% and a monthly increase of 1.5%.
These gains represent the third consecutive monthly increase for both WTI and BRENT crude oil futures, with positive support from China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) and a reduction in home purchase down payments in China.
Gold Prices Shine Amid Fed Speculation
Gold contracts ended the week on a positive note, as expectations grew that the Federal Reserve would delay raising interest rates following the release of a Labor Department report on slowing nonfarm payrolls and increasing unemployment.
- Gold futures increased by $1.20, or 0.06%, to close at $1,967.10 per ounce. Weekly prices registered a 1.4% increase, while monthly figures showed a decline of more than 2%.
- Silver futures, on the other hand, fell by 25.00 cents, or 1.01%, to settle at $24.562 per ounce.
- Platinum futures dropped by $5.70, or 0.58%, closing at $968.70 per ounce.
- Palladium futures bucked the trend, rising by $8.70, or 0.70%, to close at $1,227.40 per ounce.
U.S. Dollar Strengthens on Manufacturing Index
The U.S. dollar made gains against major currencies, largely influenced by an increase in the U.S. manufacturing index for August.
- The dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.60% to 104.2294.
- Against the Japanese yen, the dollar strengthened to 146.1410 yen, up from 145.4070 yen.
- The dollar also gained ground against the Swiss franc, reaching 0.8853 Swiss franc from 0.8830 Swiss franc.
- In Canadian currency, the dollar rose to 1.3600 Canadian dollars, up from 1.3514 Canadian dollars.
- Against the Swedish krona, the dollar strengthened to 11.0397 krona, compared to 10.9402 kronor.
- Conversely, the euro weakened to $1.0779 from $1.0846, and the pound lost ground, falling to $1.2593 from $1.2665.
These market movements underscore the interplay between economic data, global events, and investor sentiment, shaping the financial landscape as we move forward into the coming weeks.