Stocks in the U.S closed out a volatile week on Wall Street broadly in the red Friday, led lower by banks, as investors digested a batch of mixed economic reports and remained on edge as concerns lingered over whether central banks will pare back their stimulus programs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 105.90 points to close at 15,070.18. The S&P500 slid 9.63 points to finish at 1,626.73 and the Nasdaq declined 21.81 points to end at 3,423.56.
Japan's Nikkei rebounded 2 percent, after the Japanese government gave the green light to measures to boost economic growth and Finance Minister Taro Aso played down recent declines in stock prices. However, currency moves remained a concern, with the dollar-yen moving in and out of the 95-handle in choppy trade.
Adding to woes, the IMF said while underlying fundamentals in the U.S. are gradually improving, the economy is still being restrained by government spending cuts and tax increases. The IMF revised its U.S. growth outlook for 2014 don to 2.7 percent, while maintaining the 2013 guidance at 1.9 percent
On the economic front, consumer sentiment retreated to 82.7 in June after hitting its highest in nearly six years in May, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading.
Producer prices rose more than expected in May as gasoline prices rebounded, with the producer price index gaining 0.5 percent and industrial production was unchanged in May, according to the Federal Reserve.
Current account deficit widened in the first quarter to $106.1 billion, according to the Commerce Department, falling from a downwardly revised $102.3 billion in the fourth quarter. Economists polled by Reuters expected a reading of $109.7 billion.
In commodity markets, Oil prices surged helped by a rise in Middle East worries, after Washington said it would provide military support to Syria�s rebels and Iran went to the polls to elect a new president. Firm if not stellar U.S economic data also helped the market, analysts said. New York�s main contract, WTI crude for July delivery, added $1.16 from Thursday to $97.85 a barrel, its best level since the end of January. In London, Brent North Sea crude for August delivery rose 98 cents to $105.93
Gold futures ended higher as weaker U.S equity markets and an uptick in the producer price index burnished the allure of the precious metal as a haven. The most actively traded contract, for August delivery, rose $US9.80, or 0.7 percent, to settle at $US1,387.60 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver prices also settled higher, shaking off 32-month lows on the back of the PPI report. Silver for July delivery, the most active contract, settled 37.1 cents, or 1.7 percent, higher at $US21.594 a troy ounce on the Comex
Copper closed higher on the London Metal Exchange (LME) as concerns over the scaling back of U.S economic stimulus eased ahead of next week�s Federal Open Market Committee meeting. At the PM kerb close on Friday, LME three-month copper was up 0.6 per cent at $US7,090 a metric ton. Aluminum was down 0.3 per cent at $US1,851 a ton.
The Aussie is lower at US95.58 cents and the Japanese Yen is near JPY94.19 per U.S dollar.
In Australia today, the ABS releases new car sales data. In the U.S, the Empire State index is released together with the NAHB housing market index however, the focus will be on Wednesday when Ben Bernanke has the opportunity to recalibrate expectations when he speaks to the media after a two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve's policy-making panel. Given the scale of the subsequent asset-market selloff, Bernanke is expected to indicate that the economy is still too poorly to justify slowing the pace of bond buying, now $US85 billion a month, right away.