Art Cashin, UBS, shares why he is expecting a quiet Friday in the markets, although he is keeping an eye on the U.S. dollar and yields.
China's benchmark index outperformed Asia on Friday to end the week in positive territory after a raft of economic data painted an upbeat picture of the world's second largest economy.
U.S. dollar was suppose stand tall, pumped up by higher interest rates and the prospect of an improving economy. But instead it's been sagging.
The dollar dropped for a fifth consecutive session against major currencies on Thursday as recent economic data and comments from Fed officials added to uncertainty about when the U.S. central bank might reduce its bond purchases.
Stocks snapped a three-day losing streak Thursday, with the S&P 500 finishing just below the 1,700 mark, buoyed by stronger-than-expected Chinese trade data and following a favorable jobless claims report.
U.S. Treasuries pared gains on Thursday after the weak auction of the 30-year bonds, the last of three Treasury coupon sales this week.
Crude oil prices on both sides of the Atlantic dropped sharply on Thursday as traders liquidated long positions and followed gasoline futures prices lower.
Gold jumped nearly 2 percent to above $1,300 an ounce on Thursday as surprisingly strong rebounds in China's exports and imports sparked economic optimism.
Japan's benchmark index suffered a second consecutive steep fall on Thursday after the previous day's 4 percent tumble as the yen rose, while the rest of Asia ended mixed following China's upbeat trade figures.
The dollar fell to a seven-week low against major currencies on Wednesday, stung by steep losses against the yen and sterling, on concerns about the scope and timing of the Federal Reserve's eventual tapering of its bond-buying program.
Stocks recovered from their worst levels but still closed in the red for a third session Wednesday, with major averages retreating further from their recent highs, amid renewed concerns about when the Federal Reserve may start to wind down its bond-buying program.
Gold partially recovered from a three-week low hit on Wednesday, but remained under pressure on prospect that the Fed could start to rein in its stimulus program as soon as next month.
Crude dropped for a fourth consecutive session on Wednesday, with U.S. oil settling over $104, after a report showed U.S. crude inventories declined.
The markets are suffering from unexpected geopolitical anxiety, said Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS Financial Services.
Japan's Nikkei index ended below the key 14,000 level on Wednesday as the yen hit a six-week high against the greenback on uncertainty about when the Federal Reserve could begin tapering its easy-money program.
Stocks closed near session lows Tuesday, with major averages logging their biggest declines since June, after two Federal Reserve Presidents said the central bank could begin tapering its easy-money program as early as September.
U.S. Treasurys prices ended little changed on Tuesday after the Treasury's $32 billion three-year note sale drew solid demand.
The dollar fell broadly on Tuesday, hitting a six-week low against the yen, as investors pared back bets on the U.S. currency on uncertainty about when the Federal Reserve will start reducing its bond purchases.
Gold fell 1.5 percent after encouraging U.S. economic data showing the trade gap narrowed and more indications the Federal Reserve could withdraw its monetary stimulus as early as next month.
Oil fell on Tuesday, with U.S. crude settling near $105 as Iran's new president signaled willingness to negotiate with the West over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.
European shares were flat on Friday as talks over the "fiscal cliff" stalled.
European shares closed lower on Wednesday for a third consecutive session, with resurging worries about the global economic outlook undermining investor sentiment.
Standard & Poor's decision to cut Spain's credit rating to one notch above junk status is weighing on markets.
Asian shares dipped on Tuesday following losses on Wall Street after U.S. manufacturing activity hit a three-year low in November.
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