December 16 2017

Commodities - Gold Prices Tumble to 4-Week Lows as US Dollar Strengthens

December 16 2017, 04:48 | Clarence Walton



The dollar held steady at one-week highs against the other major currencies on Thursday, after the release of strong US jobless claims and manufacturing activity data and as news of a potential rate hike this year by the Federal Reserve continued to support.

In late NY trading on Wednesday, the euro fell to $1.1895 dollars from 1.1998 dollars in the previous session, and the British pound lost to $1.3485 from $1.3523 in the previous session, Xinhua news agency reported. China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 3,366.00.

The kiwi dollar traded at 91.15 Australian cents from 91.10 cents yesterday.

Best Buy BBY.N fell 8 percent after the No. 1 USA electronics retailer forecast fiscal 2021 adjusted earnings well below Wall Street estimates.

High-dividend stocks like household goods makers and utilities fell the most Wednesday afternoon.

"The announcement was pretty much in line with what was expected", said David Chalupnik, head of equities at Nuveen Asset Management.

"I really haven't had to give further thought at this point to this question", she told House lawmakers in July. "This will slowly impact growth".

Tokyo stocks ended slightly higher on Thursday as banks and exporters chalked up gains thanks to a weaker yen, but Toshiba retreated as it faced a court battle over the $18 billion sale of its prized memory chip business.

"Job gains have remained solid in recent months, and the unemployment rate has stayed low", the Fed said in a statement. While the central bank is also expected to announce the unwinding of its mammoth balance sheet today, the real action will be in the Fed's economic projections and Yellen's Press Conference. Month-on-month the growth rate was 1% compared to expectations of 0.2% growth, while year-on-year the increase was at 2.4%.

However, if conditions in the economy she did reassure that the central bank could change its course.

"At least over the near term, probably between now and the end of October, the market is at risk", he said.

Financial stocks jumped as banks benefit from higher rates. US benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields rose as far as 2.29 percent, the highest since August 8., a move which helped push bank stock prices higher also.

The final leaders' debate tonight will also garner interest.

Pfizer was among the Dow's top gainers, adding 1.5%, after the firm said it had filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, accusing it of anti-competitive behaviour aimed at defending its rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade.

Zions Bancorporation climbed 1.6%, while Raymond James Financial rose 1.4%.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 36 cents to $49.53 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. U.S. gold futures for December delivery fell 1% to $1,302.60 an ounce. The oil bulls have the slight near-term technical advantage as prices hover just above $50 a barrel.

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