Dollar strengthening resumes on wage growth data
US stock market ended mostly higher second straight session on Thursday as US Trade Representative Lighthizer said he and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin will go to China for more trade talks ‘shortly’. The S&P 500 advanced 0.9% to 2704.10, recording 7.9% monthly gain, best January in over three decades. The Dow Jones industrial however slipped 0.1% to 24999.67 led by 9% drop in DowDuPont. Nasdaq composite rose 1.4% to 7281.746. The dollar strengthening resumed as wage growth accelerated in the fourth quarter of 2018 : 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 95.54 and is higher currently. Futures on US stock indexes point to mixed openings today.
FTSE 100 still leader of European Indexes
European stocks ended marginally higher on Thursday despite data showing the euro-zone economy grew at the weakest pace in four years in 2018 and Italy entering into recession. Both the EUR/USD and GBP/USD turned lower but have reversed directions currently. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.04%. Germany’s DAX 30 however lost 0.08% to 11173.10. France’s CAC 40 added 0.36% and UK’s FTSE 100 fared the best ending 0.39% higher at 6968.85.
Shanghai Composite leads Asian indices gains
Asian stock indices are mixed today after weak Chinese data. Nikkei added 0.1% to 20788.39 with yen slide against the dollar resuming despite unexpected decline in Japan unemployment in December. Chinese stocks are mixed after Caixin report Chinese manufacturing slowed to the lowest level in almost three years: the Shanghai Composite Index is up 1.3% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 0.3% lower. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index extended losses 0.03% despite resumed Australian dollar slide against the greenback.
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Brent futures prices are retreating today after weak Chinese data. Prices rose yesterday as traders gauged the impact of US sanctions on Venezuelan state oil producer PDVSA: Brent for March settlement closed 0.4% higher to $61.89 a barrel on Thursday.
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