The dollar rose to a one-month high against the safe-haven yen on Monday as worries about a military strike against Syria diminished, while commodity currencies edged higher.
Asian equity markets kicked off September higher after two separate readings of Chinese factory activity confirmed hopes of a recovery in the world's second-largest economy.
Stocks closed near session lows on the final trading day of August, with the Dow and S&P 500 posting their worst monthly declines since May 2012, as investors held off making large bets ahead of a long holiday weekend amid escalating worries over Syria.
The U.S. dollar reached a four-week peak against a basket of major currencies on Friday as investors sought its safe-haven status on the possibility of a U.S. military strike on Syria.
Crude prices finished lower on Friday, amid relentless speculation about whether the United States would stage a military strike against Syria.
Gold slid below $1,400 an ounce on Friday as the dollar rallied to a four-week high and investors squared positions at the end of the month and cashed in on a recent run-up ahead of a long U.S. holiday weekend.
European shares closed lower on Friday, finishing August at a loss overall, as a reduced chance of an immediate military strike on Syria weighed on energy equities via weaker oil prices.
Alec Young, S&P Capital IQ, provides perspective on how stocks will likely react to an attack on Syria. And Jack De Gan, Harbor Advisory, weighs in on General Electric's plans to spin off its consumer lending operations.
Pimco strategist Tony Crescenzi has three good reasons why yields will drop.
Christian Gattiker, head of research at Julius Baer, tells CNBC to expect September and October to be more volatile.
Asian shares were mostly higher Friday, but gains were capped by uncertainty over the stability of emerging markets and the possibility of a military strike against Syria despite indications a delay might be in the offing.
Traders close the books Friday on the worst month for the Dow and S&P 500 in more than a year, and are likely to be cautious ahead of the long Labor Day weekend.
Stocks finished in positive territory Thursday but closed off session highs as lingering worries over Syria put a damper on gains.
Prices for U.S. Treasurys advanced on Thursday as investors began positioning themselves for the month-end and the long holiday weekend, with underlying worries about a possible military strike against Syria supporting safe-haven purchases.
The dollar was on track for its largest daily gain against the euro in four months after U.S. data emboldened the view that the Federal Reserve could next month begin tapering.
Gold fell nearly one percent on Thursday after a five-day rally as concerns abated that U.S.-led forces would soon launch a military strike on Syria.
Crude oil fell broadly on Thursday, with U.S. oil closing the session sharply lower, as the possibility of a delay in a U.S.-led military strike on Syria helped calm concerns.
European shares closed higher on Thursday, with investor sentiment boosted by earnings reports and the news that the U.S. economy accelerated more quickly than expected in the second quarter.
Asian equities were mostly higher on Thursday as sentiment improved following a positive handover from Wall Street but ongoing tensions in the Middle East limited gains.
Bhanu Baweja, head of emerging markets at UBS Investment Bank, explores investor timing for developing markets.
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