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Last Week’s Market Recap: Dow Jones Surges as Tech Stocks Lead, Employment Data Delays Fed’s Interest Rate Hike

In a week filled with economic data and market fluctuations, the Dow Jones closed on a positive note on Friday, October 6th, with technology stocks taking the lead in gains. Investors closely evaluated employment disclosures, revealing a sharp rise in employment in September, albeit with slowed wage growth and a higher-than-expected unemployment rate in the non-agricultural employment report. These factors are expected to play a significant role in delaying the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) decision to increase interest rates, despite the stronger-than-expected employment numbers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 33,407.58 points, marking a notable increase of 288.01 points, or +0.87%. The S&P 500 also performed well, closing at 4,308.50 points, up 50.31 points, or +1.18%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq saw robust gains, closing at 13,431.34 points, an increase of 211.51 points, or +1.60%.

Crude Oil Contracts Rise Amid Tight Supplies, But Concerns Loom

Crude oil contracts witnessed an upswing on Friday, October 6th, supported by the ongoing trend of tight oil supplies in the global market. However, oil prices experienced a sharp decline throughout the week, driven by concerns that the possibility of oil prices reaching $100 per barrel could negatively impact oil demand.

WTI crude futures managed to rise by 48 cents, or 0.6%, closing at $82.79 a barrel on Friday but recorded an overall decrease of 8.8% for the week. Similarly, BRENT crude futures climbed 51 cents, or 0.6%, closing at $84.58 a barrel on the same day but suffered an 8.3% drop for the week.

Gold Futures Find Support Amid Weaker Dollar

Gold futures posted positive gains on Friday, October 6th, as a weaker dollar and a technical rebound helped the precious metal recover after nine consecutive days of decline. Despite the release of employment data, concerns surrounding interest rate hikes due to a strong U.S. economy continued to weigh on gold contract prices, marking a second consecutive week of losses.

Gold futures rose by $13.40, or 0.73%, closing at $1,845.20 per ounce. Silver futures surged by 70.40 cents, or 3.35%, settling at $21.723 per ounce. Platinum futures also experienced gains, increasing by $19.00, or 2.20%, to settle at $881.50 per ounce. Palladium futures rose by $18.20, or 1.59%, closing at $1163.10 per ounce.

U.S. Dollar Weakens Against Major Currencies Despite Strong Non-Farm Payrolls Data

The U.S. dollar faced further weakness against a basket of major currencies on Friday, October 6th, even as the U.S. released stronger-than-expected non-farm payrolls data. Following an initial rise in response to September’s employment expansion, the dollar’s decline marked the 33rd consecutive month of weakening against major currencies.

The dollar index against the basket of six major currencies fell by 0.28% to 106.0454. Notable shifts in exchange rates included the euro rising to $1.0591 from $1.0550, the British pound increasing to $1.2244 from $1.2194, the U.S. dollar weakening to 0.9094 Swiss franc from 0.9129 Swiss franc, and the dollar depreciating to 1.3655 Canadian dollars from 1.3713 Canadian dollars. However, the dollar strengthened against the yen, closing the week on a positive note.

In summary, last week’s market was characterized by positive stock market performances, fluctuations in crude oil prices, a rebound in gold futures, and continued weakness of the U.S. dollar against major currencies. Investors are closely monitoring employment data as they weigh the potential impact on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decisions in the coming months.

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