Wall Street was in the red at the halfway point on Friday as a long weekend for US investors beckoned.
A flare up in trade tension between the US and China weighed on markets on Thursday, which prompted the S&P 500 to end a four-session winning streak and a string of record high closes. Earlier in the week, a breakthrough on a trade deal between the US and Mexico had given investor sentiment a boost.
The back half of the week was dominated by renewed concerns about emerging markets, with Argentina in the spotlight. The country’s central bank took the drastic step of raising interest rates to prop up the peso, which had taken a tumble after Argentina asked for the release of funds from the IMF to be sped up.
At lunchtime on Friday, the S&P 500 was down about ¼ of 1 per cent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed ⅓ of 1 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite clung to a 0.1 per cent gain.
Energy was the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500, down 1.1 per cent, followed by telecommunications, down 0.7 per cent, and utilities, down 0.6 per cent. Consumer cyclicals, up 0.2 per cent, were the only sector in the black.
With emerging markets currencies under pressure, the dollar gained ground. The DXY index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of global peers, was at its highest in a week, up 0.5 per cent at 95.192.
Government bonds remained in favour, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury down 2 basis points at 2.8404 per cent. Yields fall as bond prices rise.
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