NEW YORK, New York - Stocks around the world were at six months-highs as the global leader, the Dow Jones Industrials closed at a new record high on Friday.
The Dow had entered record territory a day earlier, and investors maintained buying support despite continual U.S.-China tariffs concerns.
Across the Atlantic, concerns continued about the implementation of Brexit resulting in a dive in the British pound, and an easing of U.S. treasury yields. The dollar, which was being hammered up until Thursday, found some support on Friday. MSCI’s gauge of world stocks was up 0.3% to it's highest level in 6 months.
“There’s really been no bad news to cause this market to take a breather for weeks,” Michael Geraghty, equity strategist at Cornerstone Capital Group in New York told the Reuters Thomson news agency. “The risk for U.S. equity markets is what’s going on overseas.”
At the close of trading Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead 86.52 points or 0.32% at 26,743.5.67.
The Standard and Poor's 500 was little changed, down 1.08 points or 0.04% at 2,929.67.
The Nasdaq Composite finished in the red, dropping 41.28 points or 0.51% to 7,986.96.
“If the economy is truly doing well, investors are willing to be in equities despite higher interest rates,” Patrick Palfrey, equity strategist at Credit Suisse Group AG, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying. “We don’t see the market euphoria seen in late January. The stocks are rising for the right reason.”
Volume across the U.S. stock exchange spectrum jumped to 10.77 billion shares, two thirds more than the average daily volume of the past 20 trading days of 6.57 billion shares.
The euro, which had earlier toppled the 1.1800 handle, drifted back towards the U.S. close on Friday to be trading around 1.1749.
The British pound, which had been approaching 1.3300, tumbled to 1.3077.
The Japanese yen was little changed at 112.58, as was the Australian dollar at 0.7288.
The kiwi, which had gained more than a cent a day earlier, retained its strength to be trading around 0.6682.
The Canadian dollar was quoted at 1.2915, while the Swiss franc was changing hands at 0.9588.
The Hong Kong dollar made a surprise move on Friday, adding 0.06% at one point to $7.7930, a 10-month high. It drifted back at the local Hong Kong close to be up 0.04% on the day.
“Traders may have come to believe the interest rates will keep rising, with some of them unwinding short-Hong Kong dollar carry trades, and that triggered stop losses and a stampede,” Tommy Ong, managing director for treasury and markets at DBS Hong Kong told Bloomberg on Friday. His near-term forecast for the exchange rate: somewhere between $7.80 and $7.83.