Economy

U.S. stocks close mostly higher, Dow has 2nd positive week in a row

U.S. stocks close mostly higher, Dow has 2nd positive week in a row”

Only two of the 11 major S&P sectors, financials and industrials, were higher, with gains around 0.4 percent.

Share prices retreated yesterday after North Korea said it might test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean, spooking most investors who made a decision to stay on the sidelines.

Havens got a boost following the North Korean threats.

The Swiss franc rose 0.2 percent to 0.9687 franc per dollar CHF= .

"Clearly, the Fed doesn't have answers on the 2017 low inflation weakness, but they're still very sensitive to falling behind the curve so they want to stay in front of the inflation curve".

Investors are now pricing in about a 70-percent chance of a December hike, according to CME's FedWatch tool, up from about 51 percent just prior to the Fed meeting.

"Today's movement is most likely a give-back as people digest the Fed statement and press conference", said Michael Dowdall, investment strategist at BMO Global Asset Management. The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of 16 currencies, was down 0.3%.

Investors were also looking to a key speech on Brexit by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, in which she is expected to set out her vision for Britain's future relationship with the European Union after it leaves the bloc in 2019.

Safe-haven gold ticked up, with spot prices up 0.5 percent at $1,297.11 an ounce XAU= , after marking its lowest since August 25 at $1,287.61 in the previous session on a firmer dollar. Sterling had strengthened earlier this month after the Bank of England signaled it might raise interest rates as soon as November.

South Korea's KOSPI .KS11 fell 0.9 percent on the latest bout of geopolitical tensions. A stronger currency would hurt the country's key export stocks.

After piercing the 8,300 mark on Thursday, the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) declined 5.59 points to close at 8,281.27, while the broader All Shares gauge lost 6.61 points, or 0.13 percent, to end at 4,878.39.

Crude oil prices were little changed amid a wait-and-see mood as ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers meet later on Friday to discuss a possible extension of supply cuts.

Lucy Craymer contributed to this article.



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