Yellen Helps Push US Stock ETFs Toward Weekly Gains

At 9:33am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 60.62 points or 0.28% at 21,844.02. The AFP

The euro, meanwhile, jumped more than 1 percent after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, speaking after Yellen, did not talk down the euro zone single currency's strength as some investors had speculated.

USA stocks struggled for direction late on Thursday morning, as investors remained cautious ahead of the kickoff of the annual gathering of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

USA markets opened higher on Friday as investors waited to hear speeches by the heads of the U.S. and European central banks.

Stocks finished mostly higher but pared gains, as investors seemed a bit disappointed that Janet Yellen's Jackson Hole speech offered no clues to the Fed's monetary policy path.

"Large-cap United States indices closed lower overnight ahead of Yellen's appearance in Wyoming today, eagerly awaiting further clarity on both interest rates and the balance sheet".

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A woman held a sign at the event that read, "Venezuelan resistance asks for military resistance". Two other mayors told Pence the US government should impose more sanctions.

The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of six other major currencies, gained 0.08 per cent to 93.22 after falling 0.4 per cent on Wednesday. The antipodean currencies gained as well with the kiwi up at $0.7242 and the aussie recording a 0.51% gain to last trade at $0.7938.

The euro jumped more than 1 percent and yields on benchmark US government debt remained at unattractive rates on Friday after the world's two leading central bankers declined to discuss monetary policy in keynote speeches.

USA durable goods orders were the main economic data release during late European session.

The German IFO business climate index declined slightly to 115.9 for August from 116.0, although this was above expectations of a more significant decline to 115.5 as there was a strengthening in the expectations component. The index came in at 107.9 against the forecasts of 106.8. Excluding transportation, orders for durable goods rose 0.5% last month, the third straight monthly gain, signaling that the USA economy is picking up steam. Economists had expected durable goods orders to slump by 6.0 percent.

-The euro dropped 0.1 percent at $1.801. That may allay some recent fears that the rise in the euro over the past few months was sapping exports by making eurozone products less competitive in global markets. Spot gold was off by just $2 per ounce to $1,288/oz, but spot silver fell farther, losing 9ยข to trade at $16.99/oz. She said the creation of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, made up of the heads of America's watchdogs, marked an important step in ensuring risky activities don't fall through the cracks.

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