US equities end mixed on mixed reports

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Oct 31, 2012
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Dollar weakening slows as jobless claims fall
US stocks ended mixed on Thursday as corporate reports and data painted mixed picture of the health of US economy. The S&P 500 gained 0.2% to 3010.29. The Dow Jones industrial average however slipped 0.1% to 26805.53 dragged by 4.1% drop in 3M as it cut its full year guidance. Nasdaq composite index rose 0.8% to 8185.80. The dollar weakening reversed as data showed initial jobless claims fell while both new home construction and durable goods orders fell in September. 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 97.65 but is lower currently. Stock index futures point to mixed openings today.


FTSE 100 still ahead of European indexes
European stock market gains broadened on Thursday as the European Central Bank didn’t change interest rates in the last meeting with Mario Draghi as president. Both GBP/USD and EUR/USD turned lower yesterday and are little changed currently. The Stoxx Europe 600 index ended 0.6% higher led by auto shares. Germany’s DAX 30 gained 0.58% to 12872.10 despite the services PMI falling to a 37-month low. France’s CAC 40 added 0.55% and UK’s FTSE 100 rose 0.9% to 7328.25 as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would seek a general election in December to break the Brexit impasse.


Australia’s All Ordinaries Index leads Asian indexes gains
Asian stock indices are mixed today. Nikkei rose 0.2% to 22799.81 as yen resumed its slide against the dollar. Chinese stocks are mixed: the Shanghai Composite Index is up 0.5% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 0.3% lower. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index doubled gains to 0.6% despite resumed Australian dollar climb against the greenback.

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Brent up
Brent futures prices are edging higher today. Prices gained yesterday on reports Iraq and Nigeria, two of the most non-compliant OPEC producers, have reduced their production. December Brent crude added 0.8% to $61.67 a barrel on Thursday.