All three main US stock indexes edge lower
US stocks closed marginally lower on Thursday as investors digested major banking companies’ corporate reports. The dollar recovered: the live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, rose 0.1% to 93.087. Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.1% to 22841.01. The S&P 500 lost 0.2% settling at 2550.93 led by financial shares down 0.8%. The Nasdaq index fell 0.2% closing at 6591.51.
The first reports from banks were generally better than expected and investors expect a strong season of third quarter corporate results. In economic news wholesale prices rose 0.4% in September contributing to an annual growth rate of 2.6%, the fastest pace since 2012. Initial jobless claims fell 15 thousand to 243 thousand, lowest level in six weeks. Fed Governor Jerome Powell said emerging markets should be able to withstand higher US rates which could strengthen the dollar.
European stocks rise as Catalonia secession concerns abate
European stocks edged higher on Thursday as investors speculated on further Spanish developments after Catalonia president Puigdemont suspended the independence process on Tuesday. The euro slipped against the dollar while British Pound extended gains. The Stoxx Europe 600 closed less than 0.1% higher. Germany’s DAX 30 rose 0.1% to 12982.89. France’s CAC 40 lost less than 0.1% and UK’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3% to 7556.24. Indices opened mixed today.
Spanish stocks reversed some of previous session gains as concerns about Catalonia independence declaration subsided. Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s demand on Wednesday that Catalonia President clarify whether he declared independence in his speech before parliament was interpreted as a signal by Rajoy he intends to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy. In economic news euro-zone’s industrial production was better than expected in August, rising 1.4% on month after 0.3% gain in July.
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Asian markets advance
Asian stock indices are higher today on strong global growth outlook after better than expected Chinese trade data. Nikkei ended 1% higher at 21-year high 21155.18 posting 2.2% gain over week despite yen’s continued climb against the dollar. Chinese stocks are rising as external trade data showed both growth in exports and imports accelerated in September: the Shanghai Composite Index is 0.2% higher while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is flat. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index is up 0.4% as the Australian dollar extended winning streak against the greenback.
Oil climbs on lower US crude inventory
Oil futures prices are rising today on falling US crude production and inventories. US crude inventories dropped 2.7 million barrels last week to 462.22 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration. Prices fell yesterday after the International Energy Agency reported a monthly rise in global crude supplies. Brent for December settlement lost 1.2% to end the session at $56.25 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe on Thursday.
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