US stocks end mixed as trade talk preparations start

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Oct 31, 2012
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Dollar weakens as jobless claims rise
US stocks ended mixed on Thursday as US and Chinese deputy negotiators started two-day meeting in Washington. The S&P 500 gained less than 0.1% to 3006.82, closing 0.6% below its all time closing high. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.2% to 27094.79. Nasdaq composite index added 0.1% to 8182.88. The dollar weakened despite report existing home sales rose 1.3% in August, while the number of Americans applying for new unemployment benefits rose by 2,000 to 208,000 last week: 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, fell 0.2% to 98.35 and is lower currently. Stock index futures point to higher openings today.


CAC 40 paces European indexes gains
European stocks extended gains on Thursday after further interest rate cuts expectations moderated following the Federal Reserve meeting. Both EUR/USD and GBP/USD resumed climbing yesterday with both pairs moving higher currently. The Stoxx Europe 600 index ended 0.6% higher with bank shares still pacing advancers. Germany’s DAX 30 advanced 0.55% to 12457.70. France’s CAC 40 rose 0.68% while UK’s FTSE 100 added 0.58% to 7356.42 as Bank of England kept interest rates on hold as expected.

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Shanghai Composite leads Asian indexes gains
Asian stock indices are mostly gaining today despite a warning by White House adviser Michael Pillsbury that if a trade deal is not reached soon, the US could escalate its tariffs on Chinese goods to 50% or even 100%. Nikkei extended gains 0.2% to 22079.09 despite continued yen climb against the dollar. Chinese stocks are mixed: the Shanghai Composite Index is up 0.4% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 0.2% lower. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index gained another 0.2% despite resumed Australian dollar climb against the greenback.


Brent gains
Brent futures prices are higher today. Prices advanced yesterday after reports that Saudi Arabia was looking to buy oil and additional oil products from Iraq: November Brent crude rose 1.3% to $64.40 a barrel on Thursday.