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U.S. stocks closed higher on Friday, with major indexes posting their strongest week in months as investors brushed aside tensions between the U.S. and major allies as a meeting of leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations got under way in Canada. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 75.12 points to 25,316.53, a gain of 0.3% to close at its highest level since March. The S&P 500 also rose 8.66 points to 2,779.03, a gain of 0.3% whilst the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 10.44 points to 7,645.51, to close roughly 0.1% higher.
European indexes meanwhile closed the week lower, under pressure from on-going trade tensions between the U.S. and other countries which lingered over the markets as leaders of the Group of Seven advanced economies (G7) gathered in Canada. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell in early trading but erased losses to close down 0.2% at 385.12, ending the week 0.5% lower.
The Week Ahead
Investors across the globe will be reserving two slots in their economic calendars as the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank each prepare to hold crucial policy meetings. Members of the Federal Open Market Committee are seen as virtually certain to raise the fed-funds rate by a quarter of a percentage point, marking the second hike of 2018 when they conclude their two-day meeting on Wednesday. The ECB is expected on Thursday to at last outline its plan for eventually winding down its purchase of monthly bond buys—a process many economists expect to be completed by the end of the year.
Excitement is in the air in Singapore as Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un arrived in the country for the first ever meeting between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, with the two leaders preparing for historic talks at a much anticipated, and nearly aborted summit. Denuclearisation has been the central issue in the run-up to the talks. The US wants North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, but North Korea is widely expected to resist that and it is unclear what it might ask for in return. Few details of the agenda have been released and those continue to be fleshed out on the eve of the summit.
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