Thu, 30 Mar 2023

U.S. stocks struggle as sell-off in banks continues

Lola Evans
18 Mar 2023, 06:12 GMT+10

NEW YORK, New York - A dramatic fall in First Republic Bank' shares, despite a $30 billion lifeline extended to the bank a day earlier by U.S. bank giants, unsettled markets on Friday.

First Republic shares lost $11.21 per share or 33 percent to close Friday at $22.96.

"There's nervousness into the weekend of: How does this all look on Monday?," Keith Buchanan, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments told CNBC Friday. "The market is nervous about holding stocks into that."

Traders were also concerned about next week' monthly meeting of the Federal Reserve. "The Fed seems to be paying lip service, at least, and being aware of what just happened with the banking sector," Aoifinn Devitt, chief investment officer at Moneta told CNBC Friday. "In a way, nothing about the base case has changed, only for the fact that we've had this kind of event in the banking sector causing contagion in terms of sentiment, but not yet really contagion in terms of other banks."

The Dow Jones industrials took the biggest hit on Friday, tumbling 384.57 points or 1.19 percent to 31,861.98.

The Standard and Poor' 500 dropped 43.64 points or 1.10 percent to 3,916.64.

The Nasdaq Composite retreated 86.76 points or 0.74 percent to 11,630.51.

Despite Thursday's announcement by the Swiss National Bank that it will shore up Credit Suisse with a $50 billion injection, the bank's shares dropped 0.15 cents or 6.94 percent on Friday to $2.01.

On Friday's trading session, the foreign exchange market saw the Euro gain against the US dollar, while the US dollar lost ground against the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc. The British pound also gained against the US dollar, while the Australian dollar and the New Zealand dollar gained significantly against the greenback.

The euro closed at 1.0663, up 0.52 percent, indicating a strengthening of the euro against the U.S. dollar.

On the other hand, the Japanese yen surged to 131.91, a gain of 1.31 percent.

The U.S. dollar gained slightly against the Canadian dollar, as the USD/CAD pair closed at 1.37325, up 0.09 percent or 0.00122 points.

The British pound also saw gains on Friday, as the pound strengthened against the U.S. dollar. The pair closed at 1.2170, up 0.51 percent.

Meanwhile, the Swiss franc strengthened to 0.9260, a gain of 0.34 percent.

The Australian pair saw significant gains on Friday, as the Australian dollar gained against the U.S. dollar. The pair closed at 0.6696, up 0.62 percent.

Finally, the New Zealand closed Friday around 0.6266, a gain of 1.15 percent.

In summary, the US dollar lost ground against most major currencies on Friday, with the Australian and New Zealand dollars seeing the largest gains.

Global stock markets closed with mixed results on Friday, with some indices experiencing gains while others suffered losses. The FTSE 100 in London closed at 7,335.40, down 1.01 percent, while the DAX PERFORMANCE-INDEX in Frankfurt closed at 14,768.20, down 1.33 percent. The CAC 40 in Paris also experienced losses, closing at 6,925.40, down 1.43 percent.

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo saw gains, closing at 27,333.79, up 1.20 percent. The HANG SENG INDEX in Hong Kong also experienced gains, closing at 19,518.59, up 1.64 percent. In China, the SSE Composite Index closed at 3,250.55, up 0.73 percent, while the Shenzhen Index closed at 11,278.05, up 0.36 percent.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed at 6,994.80, up 0.42 percent, while the STI Index in Singapore closed at 3,183.28, up 0.88 percent. The ALL ORDINARIES in Australia closed at 7,188.20, up 0.50 percent.

In India, the S&P BSE SENSEX closed at 57,989.90, up 0.62 percent, while the IDX COMPOSITE in Indonesia closed at 6,678.24, up 1.71 percent. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI in Malaysia closed at 1,411.73, up 1.45 percent, while the S&P/NZX 50 INDEX GROSS in New Zealand closed at 11,725.62, up 0.23 percent.

Finally, in South Korea, the KOSPI Composite Index closed at 2,395.69, up 0.75 percent. Overall, it was a mixed day for global stock markets, with some markets experiencing gains and others suffering losses.

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