Dollar weakening slows after FED minutes confirm December rate hike plans
US stock market pulled back on Thursday as traders wondered what would be the outcome of G-20 meeting starting today. The S&P 500 lost 0.2% to 2737.83. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.1% to 25338.84. Nasdaq composite index fell 0.3% to 7273.08. The dollar weakening slowed as the Fed minutes showed policy makers were planning to raise interest rates “fairly soon” while saying monetary policy in 2019 needed to be flexible: 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, slid 0.1% to 96.77 but is lower currently. Futures on three main US stock indexes point to mixed openings today.
DAX 30 ends lower than other European indices
European stocks closed mostly higher on Thursday as all FTSE 100 banks passed the Bank of England’s Brexit scenario stress test. EUR/USD continued climbing while GBP/USD turned lower as the Bank of England warned about the harm for the UK economy of a no-deal Brexit. Both pairs are rising currently. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.2%. Germany’s DAX 30 slipped 0.65 points to 11298.23. France’s CAC 40 added 0.5% and UK’s FTSE 100 gained 0.5% to 7038.95.
Shanghai Composite leads Asian indices gains
Asian stock indices are mostly higher today on trade tensions easing hopes ahead of a weekend meeting between the leaders of US and China. Nikkei rose 0.4% to 22351.06 with yen little changed against the dollar. Chinese indices are higher despite data showing services PMI hit 15-month low and factory activity stalled in November due to US-China trade relations uncertainty. The Shanghai Composite Index is up 0.8% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 0.3% higher. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index however turned 1.6% lower with Australian dollar little changed against the greenback.
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Brent futures prices are inching higher today on expectations of OPEC output cut decision at next week meeting of major oil producers. Prices ended higher yesterday: Brent for January settlement closed 1.3% higher at $59.51 a barrel on Thursday.
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