By Mike Keerma
Stock market indices closed a volatile week of trading on Friday with
weekly losses, as trade tensions increased, and a weaker-than-expected U.S.
job creation report soured investor sentiment. Toronto’s benchmark
S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 1.0% on the week as investors sold off energy and financial issues in
reaction to renewed trade tensions. Against a backdrop of rising stock
market volatility, with the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) closing the week at
21.49, the U.S. blue-chip
S&P 500 Composite Index dropped 1.4% week over week. With headwinds from the tech
sector, including continuing concerns over data security at
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), the
Nasdaq Composite Index fell 2.1% on unrelenting selling pressure. Short seller Citron Research issued a bearish view of
Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) and
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) extended its retreat with a loss for the week, marking an 8% drop from its
52-week high of early March.
Gold edged up 0.6% on the week bolstered by its safe haven status, while
crude oil dropped 4.6%.
Investor anxieties increased again during the week, as U.S. President
Donald Trump ratcheted up trade tensions by proposing $100 billion in new
tariffs against China. The U.S. job creation report for March came in lower
than expected at 103,000 positions. And Federal Reserve Board Chairman
Jerome Powell added to the uncertainty by downplaying widely anticipated
Fed hawkishness on monetary policy, plumping instead for “gradual increases
in the Fed funds rate,” adding that the “patient approach has paid
dividends and contributed to the strong economy” seen today.
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