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U.S. stock market closed with a decline. Dow Jones down 0.43%

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The U.S. stock market ended Friday’s trading with a drop amid negative dynamics in the telecommunications, technology, and raw materials sectors. At the close of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, the Dow Jones fell 0.43%; the S&P 500 index declined 0.93%; and the NASDAQ Composite dropped 1.87%.

The top gainers among Dow Jones index components in today’s trading were shares of American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), which gained 2.83p (1.88%) to close at 153.01. Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) gained 2.25p (1.60%) to close at 143.02. International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) gained 1.10p (0.87%) to close at 128.25.

Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) shares were the fallen, down 3.21p (6.74%), ending the session at 44.45. Shares of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) rose 1.41p (3.47%) to close at 39.20, while Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) dropped 2.50p (2.24%) to close trading at 109.12.

The top gainers among the S&P 500 index components in today’s trading were shares of HCA Holdings Inc (NYSE:HCA), which gained 11.43% to 202.03; Schlumberger NV (NYSE:SLB), which gained 4.28% to close at 35.07; and shares of PPG Industries Inc (NYSE:PPG), which gained 3.89% to close the session at 127.73.

SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:SIVB) shares were the fallers, dropping 17.15% to close at 361.36. Shares of Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) lost 8.11% to close the session at 76.83. Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:META) was down 7.59% to 169.27.

The top gainers among the components of the NASDAQ Composite index in today’s trading were Pagaya (NASDAQ:PGY) which gained 118.88% to 11.71. Kidpik Corp (NASDAQ:PIK) which gained 67.57% to close at 2.48; and Yoshitsu Co Ltd ADR (NASDAQ:TKLF) which gained 48.39% to close the session at 2.30.

Leading the decline were shares of VistaGen Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:VTGN), which declined 85.99% to close at 0.15. Shares of Meihua International Medical Technologies Co Ltd (NASDAQ:MHUA) lost 40.55% to end the session at 2.88. Kiora Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:KPRX) was down 39.76% to 0.15.

On the NYSE, 1,963 stocks fell more than 1,172 that ended in the black, while 147 remained almost unchanged. On NASDAQ, 2,754 stocks were down, 999 were up, and 217 remained flat.

SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ:SIVB) stock traded down to a 52-week low, down 17.15% at 74.81p and closing at 361.36. Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) shares fell to a 3-year low, down 6.74%, 3.21p, and ended trading at 44.45. 

Pagaya (NASDAQ:PGY) shares rose to an all-time high, up 118.88%, 6.36p, and ended trading at 11.71. VistaGen Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:VTGN) shares fell to an all-time low, down 85.99%, 0.92p, and ended trading at 0.15. Shares of Meihua International Medical Technologies Co Ltd (NASDAQ:MHUA) fell to an all-time low, down 40.55%, 1.97p, and ended trading at 2.88. Kiora Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:KPRX) stock prices fell to an all-time low, down 39.76%, 0.10p, and ended trading at 0.15.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which is based on S&P 500 options trading, fell 0.35% to 23.03, hitting a new 3-month low.

Gold futures for August delivery added 0.53%, or 9.15, to $1.00 per troy ounce. In other commodities, September WTIcrude oil futures traded down 1.71%, or 1.65, to $94.70 a barrel. Futures on Brent crude oil for September delivery fell by 0.58%, or 0.60, to $103.26 per barrel.

Meanwhile, on the Forex market, EUR/USD remained unchanged 0.18% to 1.02, while USD/JPY dropped 0.95% to 136.07.

The USD index futures were down 0.33% to 106.46. 


Brent crude oil futures its lowest since 2021 amid banking crisis

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Brent crude oil futures

The cost of May futures on Brent crude oil fell to $72.74 per barrel, losing 0.31%, according to data from the ICE exchange. Brent was trading at about $70 a barrel at its low for the day. That’s a record low for at least 15 months, that is, since December 2021.

WTI prices are also falling, with futures prices down to $66.43 a barrel (-0.46% from last week’s close), according to the exchange. WTI was trading at $64.12 a barrel at its low for the day. This is also the lowest value since at least December 2021.

The market is thus responding to the banking crisis: since the beginning of March, three banks (Silvergate Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank) have closed their doors in the US, and the day before, on March 19, Swiss UBS took over its rival, Credit Suisse, buying the bank for $3.2bn amid fears of its collapse. Investors fear a recession, which may cause a crisis in the banking sector, as a recession, in turn, would lead to lower demand for fuel, the agency said.

“Oil prices are moving mainly because of fears [of further oil price dynamics]. Supply and demand fundamentals are almost unchanged, only the banking problems have an impact,” said Price Futures Group analyst Phil Flynn.

Oil prices lifted from daily lows helped the S&P 500 and Dow Jones indices, which rose Monday, writes Reuters. Traders raised their expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve would refuse to raise rates this Wednesday to protect financial stability amid banking problems, the agency noted.

“Volatility is likely to persist this week, with broader financial market concerns likely to remain at the forefront,” ING Bank analysts said in a note. They add that the impending Fed decision adds to uncertainty in markets.

Earlier we reported that the price of Brent dropped below $75 per barrel for the first time in more than a year.

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Gold prices will reach $2,075 “in the coming weeks”

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Gold prices will reach

Gold prices may continue to rise, analysts polled by the CNBC TV channel said. In their opinion, the difficulties of banks and a possible turning point in the policy of the Federal Reserve indicate the possibility of a new rise in gold prices.

“I think it’s likely that we’ll see a strong move in gold in the coming months. The stars seem to be aligned for gold, and it could soon break new highs,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at brokerage Oanda.

The expert explained that interest rates are now at or close to their peak, and the market, amid recent developments in the banking sector, is laying on an earlier than previously expected start of rate cuts. They also added that this situation would boost demand for gold even if the U.S. dollar weakens.

This month, Fitch Solutions rating agency predicted that gold prices would reach $2,075 an ounce “in the coming weeks” amid global financial instability, writes RBC. The company also added that gold prices will remain at a higher than pre-pandemic levels in the coming years. Craig Erlam confirmed this forecast.

Other Wall Street experts are also predicting a long-term rise in gold prices. For instance, Tina Teng, analyst for British financial company CMC Markets, thinks that the U.S. Federal Reserve’s sooner departure from its policy of raising interest rates might provoke another rally in gold prices due to the weakening U.S. dollar and falling bond yields.

Earlier we reported that oil prices accelerated their decline, continuing a trend from the beginning of the week.

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Analysts at U.S. bank Goldman Sachs revised its forecast on oil prices

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oil price forecast

Analysts at U.S. bank Goldman Sachs, one of the most optimistic forecasts about the cost of oil, changed its earlier forecast about the growth of oil prices to $100 in the next 12 months, Bloomberg said.

Now analysts predict that Brent crude oil will reach $94 per barrel in the next 12 months and $97 per barrel in the second half of 2024, the publication said.

The bank said oil prices have fallen despite rising demand in China, given pressure on the banking sector, recession fears and investor withdrawal.

“Historically, after such traumatic events, price adjustments and recoveries are only gradual,” the bank notes.

This week, the situation surrounding Swiss bank Credit Suisse triggered panic in the markets as oil plummeted to a 15-month low and Brent crude fell 12% to below $73 a barrel.

After the price decline, the bank expects OPEC producers to increase production only in the third quarter of 2024, contrary to Goldman’s forecast that it will happen in the second half of 2023. Analysts at the bank believe a barrel of Brent blend will reach $94 in the next 12 months and trade at $97 in the second half of 2024.

Bloomberg reported that the largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, announced higher April oil prices for markets in Asia and Europe.

Earlier, we reported that Iraq and OPEC advocated for guarantees of no fluctuations in oil prices.

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