17 Jun 2013

US stocks close down again

8:26 am on 17 June 2013

Stocks in the United States fell on Friday on low volume to end their third negative week in four as concern lingers over whether central banks will soon start to trim their stimulus programmes.

Uncertainty about the longevity of loose monetary policy around the world has caused volatility to jump lately.

A decision by the Bank of Japan to hold policy steady caused jitters in the market last week and caused the New Zealand dollar to fall against the yen.

Attention is now focused on the Federal Reserve's next meeting after a Congressional statement by chairman Ben Bernanke raised concerns that the Fed could soon begin to cool its stimulus efforts.

The Dow Jones Index closed down 0.7%, at 15,070. The Nasdaq Composite closed down 0.6%, at 3,423.

The FTSE in London was up 0.6%, the DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.4% and the CAC-40 in Paris was up 0.19%.

Both the New Zealand and Australian markets closed up at the end of last week, taking the lead from positive offshore markets on Thursday.

The Australian 200 Index closed up 2% at 4,792 and NZX 50 ended the week up 0.4% at 4,421.

The New Zealand dollar ended the week at 80.50 US cents and was trading at 75.69 against the yen again on Friday.

The dollar was 84.08 Australian cents on Monday morning.

Brent crude oil was flat at $US105.69 per barrel and gold was also flat at $US1390.09 per ounce.