USA stocks end higher; oil shares boosted by hurricane

USA stocks end higher; oil shares boosted by hurricane

USA stocks end higher; oil shares boosted by hurricane

U.S. stocks closed mostly higher on Friday on renewed hopes of the much-promised tax reforms and positive remarks from Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi.

In her speech, Yellen looked back at the crisis-now almost a decade in our sights, offering insight into the lessons learned, the reforms made, and the impact both of these have on the financial markets of today.

She said the reforms put in place after the 2007-2009 financial crisis have strengthened the financial system, without impeding economic growth.

The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.2 per cent to 2,443.05, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.1 per cent at 6,265.64.

The US dollar fell against its major rivals in the European session on Friday, reversing early gains, as investors awaited the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's remarks at the annual Jackson Hole Economic Symposium for policy clues.

"Any adjustments to the regulatory framework should be modest and preserve the increase in resilience at large dealers and banks", Yellen said.

The dollar has been trading higher for most of this week after sharp losses in recent months.

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"While no single factor appears to be the predominant cause of the evolution of market liquidity, some regulations may be affecting market liquidity somewhat", Yellen said.

Following the last two increases in United States interest rates - in March and June - the market still expects later this year another 25 basis point increase to the Fed's target for the federal funds rate, which would take the range to between 1.25% and 1.50%.

Meanwhile politics is expected to linger at the back of investors' minds after U.S. President Donald Trump said he'd be willing to go as far as letting the government shut down , at a rally on Tuesday night, if he wasn't able to have his border wall with Mexico funded. The new orders consensus is for a decline of 6.0%, compared to growth of 6.4% last month. It was on track to close the week up 0.5 percent, its third straight weekly rise.

Reports on consumer confidence, personal income and spending, pending home sales, and manufacturing activity may also attract attention.

The euro was flat at $1.1804, after climbing on Wednesday on surveys that showed German and French manufacturing and services were expanding.

As for Yellen, we think she will need to convince the market that an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve remains on the cards in December.

Energy markets edged higher on Friday as U.S. producers braced for hurricane Harvey's impact on the Gulf Coast, with WTI for December delivery up 0.43% to $48.18/barrel and October benchmark brent higher by 0.25% to $52.22.

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