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A closely watched measure of expected volatility in the US stock market climbed late on Friday to its highest level of 2017 amid mounting doubt over whether Republicans will be able to pass their healthcare reform measure.

The Vix index climbed as much as 1 point to 14.14 in late trading, its highest level since December 30, according to Bloomberg data.

Friday’s rise in the Vix came as investors rotated into haven assets.

Out of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, utilities and telecommunications were the only two that managed to eke out a gain on Friday. Both are considered defensive plays that are sought out for their consistent dividend streams and generally insulated prices.

Treasury yields, which move in the opposite direction of prices, also ticked lower after rising earlier in the session. The 10-year yield recently dipped by 1.79 basis points to 2.4015 per cent, having risen earlier as high as 2.436 per cent.

Meanwhile, gold climbed 0.4 per cent to $1,251 a troy ounce.

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