U.S. stocks fluctuate amid rate hike concerns

March 11, 2017 9:00 PM

stockNEW YORK, March 11 (Xinhua) — U.S. stocks wavered in a tight range for the week, as Wall Street assessed the possibility of a March rate hike amid economic data.
On Monday, U.S. stocks dipped as the possibility of a March rate hike increased after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s hawkish remarks last Friday.
On Tuesday, U.S. stocks extended losses amid growing concerns over U.S. President Donald Trump’s ability to implement his economic policies.
On Wednesday, U.S. stocks closed mixed after wavering in a narrow range as investors digested the country’s strong ADP report.

On Thursday, U.S. stocks ended higher after the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to keep key interest rates unchanged.
On Friday, U.S. stocks extended gains as the country’s nonfarm payrolls report came out much better than expected.
Yellen said later last week that an interest rate hike in this month’s monetary policy will likely be appropriate, if the economy progresses in line with officials’ expectation.

The key February jobs report also came out supportive. U.S. total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 235,000 in February, well above market consensus of 188,000, the Labor Department announced Friday. The unemployment rate was little changed at 4.7 percent.

After Friday’s jobs report, market expectations for a March rate hike by the Federal Reserve increased to 93 percent, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.
On other economic news, U.S. private sector employment increased by 298,000 jobs from January to February, on a seasonally adjusted basis, well above market consensus of 180,000.

In the week ending March 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 243,000, an increase of 20,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 223,000.
Prices for U.S. imports advanced 0.2 percent in February, while U.S. export prices rose 0.3 percent, said the Labor Department Thursday.
The U.S. goods and services deficit was 48.5 billion U.S. dollars in January, up 4.2 billion dollars from the revised 44.3 billion dollars in December.
U.S. new orders for manufactured goods in January, up six of the last seven months, increased 5.5 billion U.S. dollars or 1.2 percent to 470.2 billion dollars.
Overseas, the European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday decided to keep key interest rates unchanged.

The Eurozone base interest rate, namely the interest rate on main refinancing operations, will remain at 0.00 percent, with the marginal lending rate and deposit rate remaining at 0.25 percent and minus 0.40 percent respectively.
ECB President Mario Draghi told a press conference that ECB continues to expect the key interests to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time.
For the week, all three major indices witnessed modest losses, with the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq going down 0.5 percent, 0.4 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.


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