Dollar strengthens despite decline in industrial production
US stock indexes ended marginally higher on Thursday on better than expected sales data. The S&P 500 gained 0.3% to 2840.60. The Dow Jones industrial average recovered 0.4% to 25579.39 buoyed by 6.1% gain in Walmart on better than expected earnings. Nasdaq composite index however slipped 0.1% to 7766.62. The dollar strengthening continued as Census Bureau reported retail sales rose above expected 0.7% over month in July while industrial production fell 0.2% when an 0.1% increase was forecast: 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 98.16 but is lower currently. Stock index futures point to higher market openings today
FTSE 100 paces European indexes retreat
European stocks extended losses on Thursday led by auto shares. EUR/USD continued declining while GBP/USD turned higher yesterday with both pairs moving in previous session’s directions currently. The Stoxx Europe 600 index ended 0.3% lower. Germany’s DAX 30 lost 0.7% to 11412.67. France’s CAC 40 slid 0.3% and UK’s FTSE 100 fell 1.1% to 7067.01.
Hang Seng leads Asian indexes gains
Asian stock indices are mostly higher today as Beijing said it will take “necessary countermeasures” if US enforces 10% tariffs on Chinese goods from September 1. Nikkei recovered 0.1% to 20418.81 as yen’s slide against the dollar despite continued. Chinese shares are rising in light of comments by Chinese officials they “hope the U.S. will meet China halfway”: the Shanghai Composite Index is up 0.3% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 0.8% higher. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index added 0.03% to previous session losses as Australian dollar slowed its climb against the greenback.
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Brent futures prices are edging higher today underpinned by easing of global slowdown concerns after strong US retail sales report. Prices fell yesterday: October Brent crude lost 2.1% to $58.23 a barrel on Thursday.
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