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17 September 2017, 06:56 | Cesar Cruz
By Sruthi Shankar
NEW YORK, Sept 15 (Reuters) - A gauge of global equities rose and shares on Wall Street set new highs on Friday as investors shrugged off the latest missile test by North Korea, while the dollar eased on unexpected weak economic data that dimmed the likelihood for a US rate hike.
Investors largely shrugged off the latest rise in tensions on theKorean peninsula and a terrorist attack in London, with haven assets from the yen to gold declining.The S&P 500 took the round-number milestone in the final minutes of trading to end the week with a 1.6 percent advance. And every market sector showed increases, despite reports showing Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had a big impact on USA retail sales and industrial activity in August that is likely to cut economic growth in the third quarter. The contract rose 59 cents, or 1.2 percent, to settle at $49.89 a barrel Thursday, the highest closing price since the end of July. Stocks in Apple and Facebook posted notable gains. It measures the daily stock price movements of 30 large, publicly-owned USA companies. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 6.69 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,431.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 22 points, or 0.4%, to 6,451, hitting a intraday record at 6,464.27.
Following the mixed performance seen in the previous session, stocks moved modestly higher over the course of the trading day on Friday. A stronger pound would hurt the earnings of British companies that do a lot of business overseas.
Energy firms were higher, but technology, health care and real estate companies weighed on the markets. The Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 0.3 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.4 percent.
The pound surged to $1.3571 from $1.3398, its highest since mid-2016.
The US$226mln-valued company'sstock rose 3.5% on the news.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slid to 110.19 yen from 110.26 yen. The three major indexes were on track to log gains for the week, with the Dow poised for its best week in more than eight months.
"The headline figure would have declined 0.1 to 0.2 percent absent the hurricane, but this decline can be attributed to the 5.5% drop in utility production, which was driven by unseasonably mild temperatures, primarily along the East Coast", notes Daiwa Securities. The euro rose to $1.1881 from $1.1873.
South Korea's Kospi index closed 0.4% higher, bouncing back from an earlier drop, as Asian markets overall finished mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-stocks-mostly-retreat-after-north-koreas-latest-missile-test-2017-09-14).
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