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Last Week’s Market Recap: Dow Jones Closes Positive Amid Interest Rate Concerns, Crude Oil Surges, and Dollar Strengthens

The financial markets experienced a mix of positive and negative movements last week as investors grappled with various economic factors. Here’s a summary of the key developments in the financial world from the past week:

Dow Jones Index Shows Resilience

The Dow Jones Industrial Average demonstrated resilience as it closed positively on Friday, September 8th. However, it remained below the day’s high, reflecting investors’ lingering concerns about interest rates. The market is in a state of anticipation as it awaits the release of US inflation data in the coming week.

At the close of the week, the Dow Jones Index stood at 34,576.59 points, marking an increase of 75.86 points or +0.22%. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 closed at 4,457.49 points, showing a gain of 6.35 points or +0.14%. The Nasdaq also experienced a slight uptick, closing at 13,761.53 points, up 12.69 points or +0.09%.

Crude Oil Reaches Yearly Highs

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures closed positively on Friday, September 8th, and reached their highest level this year. The surge was driven by concerns about tight oil supplies, effectively easing market concerns regarding the global economy and weak Chinese demand.

WTI crude oil futures rose by 64 cents, or 0.7%, to close at $87.51 a barrel, marking a 2.3% increase for the week. Meanwhile, BRENT crude futures saw a gain of 73 cents, or 0.8%, closing at $90.65 a barrel. This level was the highest since November 16th and represented a 2.4% increase for the week.

Gold Futures Face Pressure

Gold futures faced a challenging week, with slight gains on Friday, September 8th, but an overall decline. This drop was primarily attributed to rising U.S. bond yields and a stronger dollar. Investors are keeping a close eye on the release of the US consumer price index (CPI) in the upcoming week, hoping to glean insights into the Federal Reserve’s potential interest rate decisions.

Gold futures saw a modest increase of 20 cents, or 0.01%, closing at $1,942.70 an ounce. However, they were down 1.2% for the week. Meanwhile, silver prices fell by 6.60 cents, or 0.28%, settling at $23.174 an ounce. Platinum futures experienced a more significant decline, falling by $14.80, or 1.63%, closing at $894.80/ounce. Palladium also saw a drop, declining by $22.70, or 1.9%, to settle at $1,192.30 an ounce.

US Dollar Strengthens

The U.S. dollar exhibited strength against a basket of major currencies on Friday, September 8th, bolstered by the release of robust U.S. economic data. Speculation abounds that the Federal Reserve may maintain high-interest rates for a longer duration than expected or potentially increase rates in November to combat inflation.

The dollar index against six major currencies rose by 0.03% to 105.0866, marking its eighth consecutive weekly gain, the longest streak since 2014. The U.S. dollar strengthened to 147.8240 yen on Friday from 147.1700 yen on Thursday and to 0.8933 Swiss franc from 0.8928 Swiss franc. Conversely, it weakened to 1.3643 Canadian dollars from 1.3682 Canadian dollars and to 11.1251 Swedish krona from 11.1429 Swedish kronor. The euro saw a slight increase, rising to $1.0698 on Friday from $1.0695 on Thursday, while the British pound weakened to $1.2453 from $1.2470.

As the financial markets remain sensitive to economic data and global events, investors are poised to react to upcoming releases and developments, especially the eagerly awaited US inflation data and the Federal Reserve’s meeting in the coming week.

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