Thu, 04 Mar 2021

NEW YORK, New York - U.S. industrial stocks closed lower on Friday as fears of prolonged lockdowns due to the coronavirus kept buyers at bay.

The energy sector was among the loss-leaders. The techs made minor gains.

"Any delay or setback in the reopening theme is probably going to be a headwind for the energy sector," Andrew Mies, chief investment officer at 6 Meridien in Wichita, Kansas told Reuters Thomson Friday.

"But the market is telling you that its confidence in the cyclicals are diminished right now."

At the close of trading Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 179.03 points, or 0.57%, at 30,996.98.

The Standard and Poor's 500 fell 11.60 points, or 0.30%, to 3,841.47.

The Nasdaq Composite nudged higher, adding 12.15 points, or 0.09%, to 13,543.06.

Profit-taking saw a mini-revival in the U.S. dollar on Friday. The euro however was little changed at 1.2168. The British pound edged down to 1.3680, while the Japanese yen weakened to 103.83. The Swiss franc was unchanged at 0.8854.

The Canadian dollar declined to 1.2725. The Australian dollar fell sharply to 0.7715. The New Zealand dollar also dived, to 0.7180.

The Nasdaq Composite nudged higher, adding 12.15 points, or 0.09%, to 13,543.06 - just short of a new record high of 13,567.10 hit earlier in the day.

Overseas, the FTSE 100 in London lost 0.30 percent. The German Dax dropped 0.24 percent. The Paris-based CAC 40 dived 0.56 percent.

On Asian markets, in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 fell 125.41 points or 0.44 percent to 28,631.45.

The Australian All Ordinaries declined 28.20 points or 0.40 percent to 7,078.90.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong tumbled by 479.91 points or 1.60 percent to 29,447.85.

China's Shanghai Composite declined 14.51 points or 0.40 percent to 3,606.75.

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