Dollar strengthening resumes on initial claims data
US stock market advance paused on Thursday as investors awaited first quarter earnings reports of JPMorgan and Wells Fargo due today. The S&P 500 added 0.11 points to 2888.32. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.05% to 26143.05. Nasdaq composite index slid 0.2% to 7947.36. The dollar strengthening resumed as data showed initial jobless claims for unemployment benefits fell to 196,000, the lowest level in 50 years. 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 0.3% to 97.16 but is lower currently. Futures on US stock indexes point to higher openings today.
CAC 40 outperforms other European indices
European stocks extended gains on Thursday as investor sentiment was buoyed by ECB officials’ talk of more support for euro-zone economy. Both the EUR/USD and GBP/USD turned lower but are currently higher. The Stoxx Europe 600 index added 0.1% led by bank and travel stocks. Germany’s DAX 30 gained 0.2% to 11935.20. France’s CAC 40 rose 0.7% lifted by luxury shares and UK’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.03% to 7420.48.
Australian stocks lead Asian indices gains
Asian stock indices are mixed today despite surprisingly strong Chinese export data. Nikkei however ended 0.7% higher at 21870.56 with yen continuing its slide against the dollar. Chinese markets are lower: the Shanghai Composite Index is down 0.04% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 0.1% lower. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index rebounded 0.9% with Australian dollar little changed against the greenback.
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Brent futures prices are edging higher today. Prices fell yesterday on global crude demand risks warning by the International Energy Agency in its monthly report: Brent for June settlement closed 1.3% lower at $70.78 a barrel on Thursday.
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