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Stocks dip as virus impact weighed, oil gains for the week

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02/14/2020 | 05:26pm EST
A trader works at the New York Stock Exchange

Major world stock indexes edged lower on Friday as investors further assessed the economic fallout of China's coronavirus outbreak, while oil prices registered their first weekly gain since early January.

Chinese health authorities reported more than 5,000 new cases of coronavirus on Friday.

"Investors are definitely keeping an eye on how much the coronavirus is spreading and where it spreads to. It still remains the biggest risk going forward," said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

A recent Reuters poll showed the world's second-biggest economy will grow at its slowest pace since the financial crisis in the current quarter, but the downturn will be short-lived if the outbreak is contained.

Some investors said they thought the economic impact of the outbreak would not be as deep as feared, with some also noting the spread beyond China has not been as rapid as feared.

Graphic: Stock performance vs. reported coronavirus cases - https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/13/2141/2109/MicrosoftTeams-image%20(6).png

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> shed 0.09%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 93.87 points, or 0.32%, to 29,329.44, the S&P 500 lost 1.74 points, or 0.05%, to 3,372.2 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.71 points, or 0.01%, to 9,711.26.

An upbeat forecast from Nvidia helped to limit some of the losses in equities.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.13%.

Oil rose and chalked up its first weekly gain since early January, backed by expectations producers will implement deeper output cuts to offset slowing demand in China caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Brent crude futures gained 98 cents to settle at $57.32 a barrel, while U.S. crude rose 63 cents to settle at $52.05.

In currency markets, the dollar index rose 0.06%, with the euro down 0.02% to $1.0838.

Concerns about growth in the eurozone are expected to keep weighing on the single currency.

U.S. Treasury yields declined as investors bought safe-haven government debt ahead of a long holiday weekend after soft retail sales data and amid the continuing virus concerns in China.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 9/32 in price to yield 1.5883%, from 1.617% late on Thursday.

By Caroline Valetkevitch

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.78% 28992.41 Delayed Quote.1.59%
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) -0.05% 1.08225 Delayed Quote.-3.33%
LONDON BRENT OIL -2.02% 55.8 Delayed Quote.-10.42%
NASDAQ 100 -1.88% 9446.687755 Delayed Quote.10.25%
NASDAQ COMP. -1.79% 9576.590101 Delayed Quote.8.67%
NVIDIA CORPORATION -4.74% 294.07 Delayed Quote.24.98%
S&P 500 -1.05% 3337.75 Delayed Quote.3.31%
STOXX EUROPE 600 -3.99% 410.85 Delayed Quote.3.45%
STOXX EUROPE 600 NR -3.99% 888.19 Delayed Quote.3.62%
US DOLLAR INDEX 0.16% 99.87 End-of-day quote.3.17%
WTI -2.36% 50.81 Delayed Quote.-12.39%
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