CMC Markets Weekly Report

U.S. stocks turned higher on Friday, with the Dow closing at an all-time high.

U.S. stocks turned higher on Friday, with the Dow closing at an all-time high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 32.37 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 16,583.34, topping it�s April 30 close for its second record finish this year. The S&P500 advanced 2.85 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 1,878.48 and the Nasdaq added 20.37 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4,071.87.

In U.S. economic news, wholesale sales rose by 1.1 per cent in March with inventories up 1.4 per cent beating Economist�s predictions of a 0.5 per cent lift in sales and a 0.8 per cent rise in inventories.

In commodity markets, oil prices eased slightly amid continued worries over Ukraine. The US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in June, fell 27 US cents to close at $US99.99 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for June slipped 15 US cents to trade at $US107.89 a barrel in London trade.

Gold prices closed nearly unchanged. Gold for June delivery slipped 10 US cents, to $US1,287.60 a troy ounce, on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Nickel closed sharply higher on the London Metal Exchange. The LME's three-month nickel contract closed 2.6 per cent higher at $US19,905 a metric ton. Three-month copper closed 0.2 per cent higher at $US6,745 a ton.

As at 0700 AEST the Australian dollar is trading at 93.62 US cents, up from 93.56 cents on Friday. The currency peaked at 93.96 US cents late on Thursday night, its highest level since early November.

Ahead, we can expect the NAB business survey today however, all eyes will be on the 2014/15 budget out on Tuesday. In the US, the monthly Federal Budget figures are released.

In equities news, Incitec Pivot is expected to post half year results.

On Friday, the local market closed lower with the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finishing down 17.7 points, or 0.32 per cent, at 5,459.1 points and the All Ordinaries index down 16.1 points, or 0.30 per cent, to 5,439.8 points.

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