Oil prices and energy companies on Friday rallied after OPEC said it would produce more oil, but not as much as investors feared. While trade tensions remained in the headlines, US stocks finished slightly higher at the end of a bumpy week.
US crude futures jumped 4.6 percent after OPEC nations agreed to produce about 1 million additional barrels of oil per day.
Investors have expected an increase in production for weeks and many of them thought a bigger boost was coming, which would have sent prices lower.
While prices usually go down when oil production rises, investors thought OPEC might take a bigger step based on reports over the past few weeks.
“People were pricing crude in the last couple of weeks [expecting] a bigger increase by OPEC than what they agreed to,” Leuthold Group LLC chief investment strategist Jim Paulsen said.
Exxon Mobil Corp picked up 2.1 percent to US$81.38 and Marathon Oil Corp surged 7.8 percent to US$21.48.
Healthcare and household goods companies also rose, while technology companies and banks fell.
The EU followed through on its promise to put import taxes on US$3.4 billion of US goods, including bourbon, peanut butter and orange juice, in response to US tariffs on steel and aluminum.
Automakers were jolted after US President Donald Trump threatened to put a 20 percent tax on cars imported from Europe, although none of them took big losses.
The S&P 500 on Friday added 5.12 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,754.88, but fell 0.9 percent from 2,779.66 on June 15.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday broke an eight-day losing streak, gaining 119.19 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,580.89, but that was still a drop of 2 percent from a close of 25,090.48 on Friday last week.
Among the loss leaders, Boeing Co fell 5.3 percent and Caterpillar dropped 6.7 percent, both companies’ biggest losses in three months.
Makers of chemicals and other basic materials like 3M Co also lost ground this week and technology companies slipped.
The NASDAQ Composite on Friday fell 20.13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,692.82, shedding 0.7 percent from 7,746.38 a week earlier.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks sank 3.37 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,685.58, edging up 0.1 percent from a close of 1,683.91 on June 15.
The EU is enforcing tariffs on US$3.4 billion of US products in retaliation for duties the administration of US President Donald Trump has put on European steel and aluminum. The taxes are on US products that appear designed to create political pressure on Trump and senior US politicians.
EU authorities had said the move was in response to the US import duties.
On Twitter, Trump threatened to impose a 20 percent tax on cars imported from the EU if barriers to trade are not removed soon.
He had previously ordered the Office of the US Trade Representative to look into possible tariffs or quotas on imported cars and auto parts.
“If you’re in the direct line of fire from a tariff, it’s hugely important,” Paulsen said, but added that investors are very skeptical that a damaging trade war will break out.
“The trade war has heated up over the last couple of months and yet stocks are up over that period of time,” he said.
That was also the case on Friday.
Open-source software maker Red Hat Inc dropped 12.4 percent to US$142.14 after it cut its sales forecasts due to the strengthening US dollar. Other technology companies also declined.
The industry has been leading the market for more than a year, but it makes more of its sales outside the US than any other major S&P 500 sector.
Micron Technology Inc fell 3.9 percent to US$57.10 and Nvidia Corp lost 2.4 percent to US$250.95.
Additional reporting by staff writer
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
MRT TRAVEL FALLS: In February, ridership on the Taipei MRT System fell 8.96 percent from an average of 2.01 million per day in January Scooter sales jumped 13 percent last month as more commuters turned to two-wheelers to avoid public transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest statistics showed. Sales expanded to 74,493 units last month, compared with 65,913 units in February, statistics released on Wednesday by Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed. In the first quarter, aggregate sales slid 0.51 percent year-over-year to 186,627 units, from 187,580 units, data showed. Kwang Yang, the nation’s biggest scooter manufacturer, continued to lead the market by selling 24,136 vehicles last month, growing 6.12 percent from 20,785 units in the previous month, while
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the nation’s leading PC vendor, yesterday launched its first dual-screen gaming laptop powered by Intel Corp’s latest central processing units (CPUs). The PC manufacturer’s announcement closely followed the US chipmaker’s unveiling of its 10th Generation Core H-series, the fastest commercial mobile processors with speeds of up to 5 gigahertz. Although Asustek’s Zephyrus Duo 15, the highlight of its Republic of Gamers line, is not the company’s first laptop with two screens, it is its first designed specifically for gaming. Nestled between the primary display panel and the keyboard, the secondary display, which Asustek calls the ScreenPad Plus, is angled
NO ILL EFFECT: Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the spread of COVID-19 was still relatively mild in Taiwan, housing brokers said Housing transactions in the six special municipalities totaled 19,824 units last month, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, brokers said, citing government data. Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet evident, they said. Taoyuan posted the largest improvement, with housing transactions soaring 36.6 percent year-on-year to 3,676 units, local government data showed. Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) attributed the pickup to the completion of two presale residential projects in the municipality. Houses in Taoyuan have increasingly gained in popularity in the past few year years due to relatively affordable home prices and