US stocks end mixed amid diving oil prices 

New York, Feb 20 (IANS) 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.

Oil prices drop amid ample supplies

Oil prices dropped on Friday as the enormous stock dragged the market down.

The US crude supplies of last week added 2.1 million barrels to 504.1 million barrels, 78.5 million barrels more than one year before, according to the weekly report of the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) on Thursday.

Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for the US contract, gained 30,000 barrels to 64.73 million barrels.

The US oil rig count tumbled 26 to 413 this week, the lowest level since December 2009, according to the report of oil service company Baker Hughes on Friday.

Traders believed that it takes time for market to draw down the huge stockpiles.

The West Texas Intermediate for March delivery moved down $1.13 to settle at $29.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for April delivery decreased $1.27 to close at $33.01 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

US dollar falls amid diving oil

The US dollar decreased against most major peers on Friday as plunging oil prices raised market demand for safe-haven currencies, including the Japanese yen and Swiss francs.

Oil prices declined sharply on Friday, with both the US oil and Brent crude slumping over three percent, after government data showed a rise in the US crude stockpiles.

The yen and Swiss francs climbed 0.55 percent and 0.26 percent respectively against the greenback during the session, as the falling oil renewed market worries about global economic growth, triggering demand for safe-haven assets.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six other currencies, was down 0.33 percent at 96.634 in late trading, reports Xinhua.

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 percent increased 0.3 in January, which has 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.

In late New York trading, the euro rose to $1.1132 from $1.1092 of the previous session, and the British pound increased to $1.4352 from $1.4321. The Australian dollar went down to $0.7143 from $0.7154.

The dollar bought 112.51 Japanese yen, lower than 113.57 yen of the previous session. The greenback moved down to 0.9895 Swiss franc from 0.9953 Swiss franc, and rose to 1.3781 Canadian dollars from 1.3740 Canadian dollars

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