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US stocks end mixed amid diving oil prices

Sat, Feb 20, 2016, 08:25 AM
New York, Feb 20: The US stocks closed mixed on Friday after wavering in a tight range, as investors digested the country's consumer price data amid a plunge in oil prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 21.44 points, or 0.13 percent, to 16,391.99. The S&P 500 edged down 0.05 point, or less than 0.01 percent, to 1,917.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 16.89 points, or 0.38 percent, to 4,504.43, Xinhua news agency reported.

Oil prices suffered big losses on Friday, with both the US oil and Brent crude shedding over 3 percent, after government data showed a rise in the US crude stockpiles.

Oil prices witnessed wild swings recently amid talks of a coordinated plan by producers to freeze output levels.

The US oil has tumbled more than 22 percent over oversupply concerns since the beginning of the year.

On the economic front, the consumer price index (CPI) for all urban consumers was unchanged in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, the US Labour Department reported on Friday.

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent in January, which increased 2.2 percent over the past 12 months.

This is its highest 12-month change since the period ending June 2012 and exceeds the 1.9 percent average annualized increase over the last 10 years.

"The year-over-year headline CPI reading is in skyrocket mode, jumping from 0.7 percent in December to 1.4 percent in January. This is what the Fed means when they say the effects of energy and the strong dollar are transitory," said Jay Morelock, an economist at FTN Financial, in a note.

Overseas, European equities decreased broadly Friday, with French benchmark index CAC 40 falling 0.39 percent, as a renewed decline in oil prices weighed on market sentiment.

In Asia, Chinese benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.1 percent to close at 2,860.02 points on Friday, while Japanese 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average declined 1.42 percent on the yen's appreciation.

For the holiday-shorted week, all three major indices saw biggest weekly gains in 2016, with the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq surging 2.6 percent, 2.8 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.
Agency: IANS

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