Thu, 28 May 2020

NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stocks were sold off sharply on Friday, despite the House of Represnetatives passing a $2.2 trillion bill designed to counter the effects of the coronavirus on U.S. citizens and residents, and the economy.

The U.S. dollar continued its slide.

The coronavirus remained center-stage with 550,000 cases now worldwide, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was tested positive for the disease on Friday.

The U.S. share of those cases is over 100,000, and Covid-19-related deaths have passed 1,200.

"Next week, markets will likely continue to focus on the spread of COVID-19 - whether European cases are reaching a peak, how much of the U.S. will be put in lockdown, and whether China can avoid a second wave," Gatan Peroux, strategist at UBS Global Wealth Management told Reuters Thomson on Friday.

At the close of trading Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 915.39 points, or 4.06%, to 21,636.78.

The Standard and Poor's 500 shed 88.6 points, or 3.37%, to 2,541.47.

The Nasdaq Composite declined 295.16 points, or 3.79%, to 7,502.38.

The U.S. dollar was sold off sharply throughout the day on Friday, across all time zones. The greenback has now lost a large portion of its recent gains.

On Friday the euro re-captured the 1.1100 mantle to finish the day around the New York close Friday at 1.1140.

The British pound gained nearly 10 cents over the week, to close the week out at 1.2453.

The Japanese yen, which was below 1.1100 earlier in the week, regained much of that ground to end the week at 107.99.

The Swiss franc rose to 0.9502.

The Canadian dollar rallied to 1.3983. The Australian dollar climbed to 0.6166. The New Zealand dollar firmed to 0.6036.

Shares in Europe fell in line with Wall Street. The German Dax fell 3.68%. The Paris-based Cac 40 declined 4.23%. The London FTSE 100 was sharply lower, losing 5.25% with UK leader Boris Johnson in self-isolation with Covid-19.

On Asian markets, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 accelerated by 724.83 points or 3.88% to close at 19,389.43.

In Australia, the All Ordinaries went in the other direction, shedding 261.00 points or 5.08% to 4,874.50.

China's Shanghai Composite edged up 7.29 points or 0.26% to 2,772.20.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng was modestly higher, gaining 131.94 points or 0.56% to 23,454.28.

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