Dollar strengthens as jobless claims fall
US stock market extended losses on Thursday as global growth slowing concerns came to fore again after National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow’s comment US and China’s position are on “pretty sizable distance” in trade talks. The S&P 500 lost 0.9% to 2706.05. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 0.9% to 25169.53. Nasdaq composite index fell 1.2% to 7288.35. The dollar strengthening slowed as initial jobless claims fell last week to near historical low: 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 0.2% to 96.53 and is higher currently. Futures on US stock indexes point to lower openings today.
FTSE 100 trails European Indexes losses
European stocks pulled back on Thursday as European Union downgraded euro-zone growth prospects for 2019. The EUR/USD slide continued while GBP/USD turned higher despite Bank of England’s cut to UK growth forecast as the bank left interest rates unchanged. The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 1.5%. Germany’s DAX 30 dropped 2.7% to 11022.02. France’s CAC 40 lost 1.8% and UK’s FTSE 100 fared the best ending 1.1% higher at 7093.58.
Nikkei leads Asian indices losses
Asian stock indices are mostly lower today after President Trump comment he didn’t plan to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping before March 2 when the tariff truce ends. Nikkei fell 2% to 20333.17 with yen climb against the dollar continuing. Mainland China’s markets are closed for Lunar New Year holiday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 0.1% lower. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index turned 0.3% lower despite persistent Australian dollar slide against the greenback.
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Brent futures prices are extending losses today while OPEC cuts provide support. Prices fell yesterday on reports that Libya could soon increase production: Brent for April settlement closed 1.7% lower to $61.63 a barrel on Thursday.
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