US stocks edge lower ahead of G-20

Traders work on the floor during the New York Stock Exchange. June 20, 2019.
Traders work on the floor during the New York Stock Exchange. June 20, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks finished a choppy session little changed on Friday (June 21) as markets cautiously eyed upcoming US-China trade talks and rising tensions between the US and Iran.

Analysts said US stocks were due for a pause after a strong rally this month amid more dovish commentary from the US Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the week at 26,719.13, down 0.1 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 retreated slightly from Thursday's record, slipping 0.1 per cent to end at 2,950.46. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.2 per cent to close at 8,031.71.

Markets are looking ahead to next week's Group of 20 leaders' summit in Japan, particularly the meeting between US President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping that could lead to a breakthrough in the long-running US-China trade dispute.

"We don't know what is going to come out of the meeting, as long as you can get China and the US to talk again, it is bullish," said Karl Haeling of LBBW.

"And if we can come up with a deal this summer, it would be even more bullish for equities."

Another wildcard is the latest escalation of tensions between the US and Iran. Trump confirmed on Friday that he called off a strike on Iran after the country's forces shot down a US drone, saying that he did not want to cause mass casualties.