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The Invisible
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on Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:56 am
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Tokyo stocks drop more than 3-pct after Wall Street plunge

Nov 13, 2018 06:58 AM GMT+0530


Tokyo, Japan | AFP | Tuesday - Tokyo stocks dived more than three percent shortly after the open on Tuesday, with investors discouraged by a plunge in US shares on fears over demand in the tech sector.

The Nikkei 225 index was down 3.47 percent, or 771.92 points, at 21,497.96 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 3.06 or 51.09 points at 1,620.86.

"The Tokyo market is being hit by the plunge in US shares, and news that Apple's iPhone sales are not going very well is also proving a blow," Hideyuki Suzuki, head of investment information department at SBI Securities, told AFP.

"The Tokyo market is hitting the second lowest level since October 26, when the Nikkei index dipped below 21,000," he noted, adding that share prices may bottom out.

The dollar fetched 113.63 yen in early Asian trade, down from 113.85 yen in New York late Monday.

In Tokyo, Apple's parts supplier Murata Mfg dropped 6.55 percent to 16,680 yen, while other electronic parts makers also plunged, with TDK dropping 7.10 percent to 8,890 yen and Alps Electric plummeting 8.37 percent to 2,441 yen.

US stocks crumbled on Monday, as a sell-off initially sparked by fears of weakening demand for Apple's iPhone spread to the rest of the market with the Dow ending down 2.3 percent at 25,387.18.
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on Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:10 am
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Hong Kong, Shanghai stocks fall in early trade

AFP - Shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai opened lower on Friday, tracking falls in Europe after US markets were closed for Thanksgiving.

The Hang Seng Index shed 0.30 percent, or 79.06 points, to 25,940.35.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.18 percent, or 4.76 points, to 2,640.67, while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, lost 0.14 percent, or 1.95 points, to 1,383.89.
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on Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:53 am
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Oil prices sink on worries over excess supply, weak demand

AFP - Oil prices slumped Friday to lows not seen since last year as concerns over high crude supplies and uncertain economic growth triggered massive selling.

The petroleum slump, which took major oil contracts down to their lowest level since October 2017, comes as oil output remains high in the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia and as some forecasters have trimmed their outlook for global growth, due in part to the US-China trade fight.

US oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate dropped $4.21 to $50.42 a barrel for January delivery, a decline of 7.7 percent.

In London, Brent oil futures for January delivery, slid 6.1 percent to $58.80 per barrel.

"The truth of the matter remains that rising global crude supply coupled with worrying signs of slowing demand have written a recipe for disaster for the oil markets," said Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at FXTM.

Global stock markets were mixed, with major US indices retreating in part due to worries about lower oil prices and weak global growth.

Bourses in Paris and Frankfurt notched modest gains, while London, Shanghai and London all fell.

- Trump effect? -

High global oil production compared to demand was the top reason for Friday's selling, while the outlook for a weakening world economy led investors to conclude that growth would not be strong enough to soak up the surplus.

The retreat comes ahead of a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna on December 6.

Some analysts view the organization as constrained following heavy pressure from US President Donald Trump on Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this week, Trump thanked Saudi Arabia for low prices and decided to essentially overlook the Central Intelligence Agency's reported conclusion over Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's involvement in the gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a stance that has outraged White House critics.

"Although most analysts claim that this has to do with supply overhang and increased production from Russia and Saudi Arabia, the bottom line is that the US President keeps pushing for lower prices," said Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index trading group.

"While this is the case it will be difficult to see a return to oil at a higher level unless oil cartel OPEC decides on a major output cut at its next meeting."

But Andy Lipow of Lipow Oil Associates predicted the "Saudis will decide in their best interest to cut production," adding that "it will not have an impact on the relationship with Washington because the US already said how this relationship was important and how important was the weapon business with the Saudis."

Still, Friday's drop in prices reflects market concern that OPEC production cuts are "not going to be enough to support prices," Lipow added.

The drop in oil prices reverberated in equity markets, with oil giants Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and Total all shedding three percent or more on their local bourses.

Chinese shares also stumbled as Shanghai slumped by more than two percent, with the tech sector hit hard by a Wall Street Journal report that Washington is urging its allies to avoid using equipment from Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

Worsening trade tensions between the United States and China have shattered confidence on global trading floors.

- Key figures around 1930 GMT -

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN $4.21 at $50.42 per barrel

Oil - Brent Crude: DOWN $3.80 at $58.80 per barrel

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.7 percent at 24,285.95 (close)

New York - S&P 500: 0.7 percent at 2,632.56 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 0.5 percent at 6,938.98 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 6,952.86 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.5 percent at 11,192.69 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.2 percent at 4,946.95 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.3 percent at 3,137.21 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: Closed Friday for holiday

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.4 percent at 25,927.68 points (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 2.5 percent at 2,579.48 points (close)

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2805 from $1.2877 at 2200 GMT Thursday

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1331 from $1.1403

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 112.85 yen from 112.95 yen
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on Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:06 am
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The Invisible
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on Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:34 am
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US stocks surge as investors greet Powell speech

AFP - Wall Street toasted a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday hinting that interest rates might not rise much further, prompting the Dow's biggest gain since March.

Powell, in remarks to the New York Economic Club, charted a middle ground, saying rates still were still historically low but only "just below" the estimate of neutral -- a rate that neither stimulates nor restrains the economy.

Powell's characterization of interest rates as nearly normal "were the magic words," said Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services. "That's what the market wanted to hear."

The remarks were considered "dovish" in light of Powell's remarks last month that interest rates were "a long way from neutral."

US stocks opened higher and rallied more after Powell's speech, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing up more than 600 points, or 2.5 percent, to 25,366.43.

Virtually all members of the blue-chip index advanced, with equities that had slumped recently, such as Apple and Boeing gaining 3.9 percent and 4.0 percent, respectfully.

Not everyone viewed Powell's remarks as a game-changer.

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist of Pantheon Macroeconomics, said markets were reading too much into Powell's statement and, given historically low unemployment, the Fed might have no choice but to keep raising rates.

Shepherdson estimated that the Fed was still three interest rate hikes from the middle of the range for "neutral."

But Sam Stovall of CFRA Research said Powell's remarks "has likely lit the fuse for an end-of-year celebration," especially if weekend talks between US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping yield progress on trade.

European stock markets meanwhile were mostly steady at the close.

London's assessment that the UK will be worse off outside the EU than inside hardly came as a surprise, but its predictions of lost economic growth were actually more optimistic than many had feared.

"It is a relief that output would 'only' drop 3.9 percent in the long term, as some economists had predicted much severe economic damage from leaving the EU," said Fawad Razaqzada, a market analyst at Forex.com.

Oil prices dropped after the US reported a tenth straight weekly increase in stockpiles, adding to fears of an oil supply overhang.

- Key figures around 2140 GMT -

New York - Dow Jones: UP 2.5 percent at 25,366.43 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 2.3 percent at 2,743.78 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 3.0 percent at 7,291.59 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.2 percent at 7,004.52 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.1 percent at 11,298.88 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: FLAT at 4,983.24 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.1 percent at 3,168.29 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.0 percent at 22,177.02 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 1.3 percent at 26,682.56 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.1 percent at 2,601.74 (close)

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2824 from $1.2747 at 2200 GMT

Euro/pound: FLAT at 88.61 pence

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1369 from $1.1289

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 113.65 yen from 113.79

Oil - Brent Crude: DOWN 98 cents at $59.42 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 77 cents at $50.79AFP - Wall Street toasted a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday hinting that interest rates might not rise much further, prompting the Dow's biggest gain since March.

Powell, in remarks to the New York Economic Club, charted a middle ground, saying rates still were still historically low but only "just below" the estimate of neutral -- a rate that neither stimulates nor restrains the economy.

Powell's characterization of interest rates as nearly normal "were the magic words," said Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services. "That's what the market wanted to hear."

The remarks were considered "dovish" in light of Powell's remarks last month that interest rates were "a long way from neutral."

US stocks opened higher and rallied more after Powell's speech, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing up more than 600 points, or 2.5 percent, to 25,366.43.

Virtually all members of the blue-chip index advanced, with equities that had slumped recently, such as Apple and Boeing gaining 3.9 percent and 4.0 percent, respectfully.

Not everyone viewed Powell's remarks as a game-changer.

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist of Pantheon Macroeconomics, said markets were reading too much into Powell's statement and, given historically low unemployment, the Fed might have no choice but to keep raising rates.

Shepherdson estimated that the Fed was still three interest rate hikes from the middle of the range for "neutral."

But Sam Stovall of CFRA Research said Powell's remarks "has likely lit the fuse for an end-of-year celebration," especially if weekend talks between US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping yield progress on trade.

European stock markets meanwhile were mostly steady at the close.

London's assessment that the UK will be worse off outside the EU than inside hardly came as a surprise, but its predictions of lost economic growth were actually more optimistic than many had feared.

"It is a relief that output would 'only' drop 3.9 percent in the long term, as some economists had predicted much severe economic damage from leaving the EU," said Fawad Razaqzada, a market analyst at Forex.com.

Oil prices dropped after the US reported a tenth straight weekly increase in stockpiles, adding to fears of an oil supply overhang.

- Key figures around 2140 GMT -

New York - Dow Jones: UP 2.5 percent at 25,366.43 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 2.3 percent at 2,743.78 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 3.0 percent at 7,291.59 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.2 percent at 7,004.52 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.1 percent at 11,298.88 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: FLAT at 4,983.24 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.1 percent at 3,168.29 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.0 percent at 22,177.02 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 1.3 percent at 26,682.56 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.1 percent at 2,601.74 (close)

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2824 from $1.2747 at 2200 GMT

Euro/pound: FLAT at 88.61 pence

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1369 from $1.1289

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 113.65 yen from 113.79

Oil - Brent Crude: DOWN 98 cents at $59.42 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 77 cents at $50.79
The Invisible
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on Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:26 am
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Asian markets slip as China-US trade deal joy subsides

AFP - Asian markets mostly dropped Tuesday as the previous day's euphoria over the China-US trade ceasefire gave way to questions about whether the two can ultimately resolve their differences.

However, oil prices continued to rise, building on Monday's surge fuelled by the agreement as well as news of a Russia-Saudi Arabia pact to cap output.

Global investors were given some much-needed Christmas cheer at the weekend after Donald Trump and Xi Jinping called a halt to their painful tariffs battle for 90 days while they try to resolve their differences.

The news lit a fuse under markets after a torrid year that has been dominated by the trade war between the world's top two economies, which many fear will hit global growth.

However, there is concern that the three month grace period will not be enough for them to hammer out agreements on key issues, particularly on intellectual property protection.

"Can the US and China really resolve their differences in 90 days?" asked Rodrigo Catril, senior strategist at National Australia Bank.

"It seems that more details and signs of progress will be needed if the initial trade truce warm fuzzy feeling is to be sustained."

Also, later Monday there was uncertainty about Trump's claims in a tweet that China had agreed to slash tariffs on car imports, with two of his top advisers unable to provide clarity on the issue.

- Oil extends gains -

"That's what happens when you don't have the detailed negotiations going into the summit" and end up with the "broad swath of a 35,000-foot deal," Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said.

"It's risky. There's certainly no guarantees that it will produce the outcomes that we want."

Hong Kong dipped 0.3 percent, Tokyo fell 0.7 percent by lunch, Shanghai was 0.2 percent off and Sydney lost 0.6 percent.

Singapore and Seoul each dropped 0.5 percent, while Taipei eased 0.3 percent though there were gains in Wellington, Manila and Jakarta.

Still, Jeff Kleintop, chief global investment strategist at Schwab Center for Financial Research remained upbeat.

"It's easy to see the trade deal as a half empty (glass) -- that it's just a postponement and that they'll work together but that there really isn't any kind of resolution," he said. "But I think you can see it as a half glass full."

On oil markets both main contracts posted more healthy gains, adding more than one percent, having racked up gains of almost four percent Monday on the trade deal, the Russia-Saudi output agreement and a cut in production in Canada.

Focus is now on a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC members in Vienna at the weekend, where they will reveal how much and for how long they will reduce as they look to stabilise the crude market.

On currency markets the pound is struggling to bounce back against the dollar as MPs prepare to debate Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal as she struggles to win over enough people to support it.

Failure to push the agreement through parliament could bring down her government, fuelling more uncertainty in the country.

- Key figures around 0230 GMT -

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.7 percent at 22,412.53 (break)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.3 percent at 27,106.64

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.2 percent at 2,650.57

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 62 cents at $53.57 per barrel

Oil - Brent Crude: UP 62 cents at $62.31 per barrel

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1357 from $1.1353 at 2200 GMT

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 113.43 yen from 113.59

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2730 from $1.2727

New York - Dow Jones: UP 1.1 percent at 25,826.43 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 1.2 percent at 7,062.41 (close)
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on Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:31 am
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Asian markets track Wall St rout as confusion, uncertainty reign

AFP - Asian markets fell Wednesday following a rout on Wall Street, as investors were bombarded by a "perfect storm" of problems that erased the positivity seen at the start of the week.

The glum mood overshadowed hints from Donald Trump at more time to resolve the China-US trade row, as well as soothing comments from China about their desire to push on with a weekend agreement between the world's top economies.

Trading floors are awash with uncertainty over the agreement Trump hammered out with Xi Jinping to much fanfare -- and an initial market rally -- in Buenos Aires, with little clarity emerging and the US president shifting his tone.

While he hailed the deal at first, on Tuesday he warned on Twitter "remember, I am a Tariff Man", adding "When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so".

Then, in another tweet he left open the door to an extension of the agreement's 90-day timeline to end the row.

On Wednesday, China's commerce ministry called the pact "successful" and said it "will start with the implementation of the specific matters in which consensus has been reached, the sooner the better", without providing more details.

Adding to the mounting risks are concerns about the US economy after the difference in yields on two- and 10-year bonds narrowed, suggesting traders are increasingly concerned about longer-term prospects.

The are fears of an "inversion" where short-term yields overtake long-term rates, which in the past has been the precursor to a recession.

Wall Street suffered a battering, with the Dow slipping 3.1 percent, S&P 500 3.2 percent lower and Nasdaq 3.8 percent off.

The selling continued into Asia, where Hong Kong plunged 1.6 percent, Shanghai lost 0.8 percent and Tokyo ended the morning 0.4 percent down.

- Pound's Brexit woes -

Singapore shed 0.8 percent and Seoul was 0.6 percent off, while Wellington dived 1.3 percent. Sydney shed 1.2 percent after data showed the Australian economy grew at a slower pace than expected in July-September. The Australian dollar also sank more than one percent.

The selling "has all the nasty hallmarks that traders typically call the perfect storm," said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA. He said investors "are probably left feeling duped, tricked and maybe even snookered by some ill-advised backslapping comments post G20".

"While trade war is certainly the number one driver of global risk sentiment, the current meltdown is morphing into a Hydra with familiar points of irritation -- trade, (Federal Reserve), Brexit, Italy, global growth -- coming to a head," he added.

On currency markets the pound continued to struggle on concerns that Britain could be heading for the EU exit without a deal, which most observers fear could hammer the economy.

Sterling hit a 17-month low Tuesday after Prime Minister Theresa May suffered stunning defeats in parliament that highlighted the uphill fight she has in pushing through her controversial Brexit deal.

If she loses there are expectations she will face a no-confidence vote and possible defeat that could force early elections and leave the country in chaos.

Oil prices were also down more than one percent after another jump in US inventories came as Saudi Arabia raised questions about the chances of an output cut at a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC members at the weekend.

Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said it was "premature to say what will happen" in Vienna, days after Russian President Vladimir Putin had said the two major producers had agreed to a cap to support prices.

"We need to get together and listen to our colleagues, hear about their views on supply and demand and their projections of their own countries’ production," he said.

Crude had surged Monday and Tuesday after Putin's comments.

"It’s not a good price signal," Bob Yawger, director of futures at Mizuho Securities USA, told Bloomberg News. "Either demand is bad or all the talk about cutting production is just lip service."

- Key figures around 0230 GMT -

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.4 percent at 21,946.94 (break)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 1.6 percent at 26,836.56

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.8 percent at 2,644.40

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2710 from $1.2713 at 2200 GMT

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1337 from $1.1342

Dollar/yen: UP at 112.86 yen from 112.78

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 57 cents at $52.68 per barrel

Oil - Brent Crude: DOWN 72 cents at $61.36 per barrel

New York - Dow Jones: DOWN 3.1 percent at 25,027.07 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.6 percent at 7,022.76 (close)
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on Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:21 am
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Tokyo stocks open lower on trade war fears

Tokyo, Japan | AFP | Monday - Tokyo stocks opened sharply lower on Monday, taking a negative lead from New York where unease over the US-China trade war prompted a fresh sell-off late last week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 2.20 percent or 476.53 points at 21,202.15 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 1.88 percent or 30.51 points at 1,589.94.

"The sharp decline in US shares on Friday is weighing on the Tokyo market," said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

"Trading is sluggish as investors are on the sidelines ahead of Britain's vote on Brexit," Horiuchi told AFP.

On Friday, major US stock indices slumped more than two percent to conclude a bruising week for markets rattled by the US-China trade clash.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 2.2 percent and the broad-based S&P 500 slumped 2.3 percent.

The declines followed hawkish comments from White House trade advisor Peter Navarro, who told CNN that US President Donald Trump would "simply raise" tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods if trade talks fail.

The dollar changed hands at 112.71 yen in early Asian trade, against 112.68 yen in New York late Friday.

Nissan was down 1.75 percent at 956.2 yen in early trade as ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn is expected to be charged and face new allegations for alleged financial misconduct later in the day.

Steelmakers slumped on concerns over a US-China trade war. Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal lost 1.58 percent to 1,954 yen with JFE Holdings down 1.92 percent at 1,888 yen.
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on Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:18 pm
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Tokyo stocks open higher on cheaper yen

Tokyo, Japan | AFP | Wednesday - Tokyo stocks opened higher on Wednesday helped by a cheaper yen and a rebound in European bourses after two days of declines amid lingering concerns over trade conflicts.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.87 percent or 183.06 points to 21,331.08 in early trade while the broader Topix index was up 0.82 percent or 12.88 points at 1,588.19.

"The Tokyo market is seen rebounding from recent drops thanks to a tailwind from rallies in European bourses and a halt in the appreciation of the yen" against the dollar, Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.

Concerns over trade conflicts and Brexit as well as technical factors linked to the settlement of futures index trade "may prompt volatile stock movement" on Wednesday, it added.

The dollar fetched at 113.35 yen in early Asian trade, little changed from 113.40 yen in New York but up slightly from 113.10 yen in Tokyo late Tuesday.

In Tokyo, automakers were higher with Toyota advancing 1.21 percent to 6,827 yen and Honda up 1.62 percent at 3,070 yen.

Nissan rebounded 1.48 percent to 929.3 yen in early trade, after tumbling 3.10 percent on Tuesday and 2.90 percent on Monday after ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn was charged and faced new allegations of alleged financial misconduct.

Sony jumped 2.68 percent to 5,888 yen and Panasonic was up 2.95 percent at 1,081.5 yen.

In New York, US stocks were mixed with the Dow closing down 0.2 percent at 24,370.24 but the tech-rich Nasdaq closing up 0.2 percent.
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on Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:58 pm
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Euro slides as 'downbeat' ECB warns on economy

AFP - The euro slipped on Thursday after the European Central Bank trimmed its growth forecast for the eurozone because of "mounting uncertainties" from within and outside the region.

ECB chief Mario Draghi said risks facing the area were now "moving to the downside," although that did not stop the bank from pulling the plug on its massive crisis-fighting economic stimulus known as quantitative easing, or QE.

"While Mario Draghi was boxed in by previous announcements about QE, his press conference revealed two stark truths –- he remains deeply concerned at the fragility of eurozone growth and reserves the right to administer further monetary stimulus," said JR Zhou, market analyst at online trading platform Infinox.

David Madden of CMC Markets, said "downbeat Draghi" weighed on the single currency.

Under its quantitative easing program, the ECB pumped 2.6 trillion euros ($3.0 trillion) into the eurozone economy in order to stoke growth and inflation.

Europe's major stock markets, meanwhile, held mostly steady, with "dealers still hopeful that Beijing and Washington DC are on the road to striking a deal" on trade, Madden said.

In New York, Wall Street had an indecisive day and the major indices eked out a split finish after bouncing between the black and the red -- continuing a streak of volatility sparked by the US-China trade war and geopolitical turmoil.

The Dow rose 0.3 percent but the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 0.4 percent.

General Motors also sank 1.6 percent after US President Donald Trump again lashed out at the company and its CEO Mary Barra, renewing criticism of plans to cut jobs and close US manufacturing plants.

Elsewhere, the pound pushed higher, a day after British Prime Minister Theresa May won a vital confidence vote amid widespread discontent at her Brexit deal.

"Our view is that a 'no-deal' Brexit remains quite unlikely, despite all the recent political upheaval," Capital Economics said.

"With this in mind, we think that the risks are skewed to the upside for sterling."

Asian equities posted more gains as investors were cheered by conciliatory noises from China and the United States on trade.

While the tariffs row between Beijing and Washington is far from being resolved, there is a lot more optimism on trading floors that the world's top two economies can make headway in talks during their three-month truce.

Dealers mulled a report that Beijing was considering replacing its "Made in China 2025" program that aims to boost its technology sector, a key point for Washington.

That followed news China had agreed to resume importing soybeans -- a major boost for US farmers -- as well as remove a levy on US autos imposed earlier this year in response to Donald Trump's initial tariffs.

But US officials vow they will remain tough in the negotiations, and will "trust but verify."

- Key figures around 2130 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.3 percent at 24,597.38 (close)

New York - FLAT at 2,650.54 (close)

New York - DOWN 0.4 percent at 7,070.33 (close)

London - FTSE 100: FLAT at 6,877.50 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: FLAT at 10,924.70 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.3 percent at 4,896.92 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.1 percent at 3,112.17 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.0 percent at 21,816.19 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 1.3 percent at 26,524.35 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.2 percent at 2,634.09 (close)

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2660 from $1.2629 at 2200 GMT

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1361 from $1.1369

Dollar/yen: UP at 113.61 yen from 113.29 yen

Oil - Brent Crude: UP $1.30 at $61.45 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate UP $1.43 cents at $52.58
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Global stocks battered amid US budget brawl, Brent at $55

AFP - Global stocks plunged Thursday as worries about a possible US government shutdown compounded fears of slowing global growth that pushed oil prices to fresh multi-month lows.

Even before the specter of a US government shutdown reappeared, European and Asian bourses had fallen sharply after the US Federal Reserve again raised interest rates on Wednesday.

But US stocks retreated further on news of the latest impasse between President Donald Trump and congressional lawmakers on a stopgap budget bill over border security funding.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day 2.0 percent lower at 22,859.60, a loss of 460 points.

A bruising December has set up Wall Street for its worst year since the financial crisis. The S&P 500 is currently down 7.7 percent for the year and the Nasdaq is on the verge of a "bear market," which is a drop of 20 percent from its peak this year.

The revived possibility of a shutdown -- which also weighed on the US dollar -- worsened the downbeat mood on markets after the Fed announced another interest rate hike on Wednesday and made only subtle adjustments to the course of monetary policy tightening next year despite rising worries about global growth and a big pullback in the stock market.

However, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the market's response to the Fed went too far.

"I think clearly you have a situation here where the market has overreacted to the Fed's comments, and you see programmed trading taking over," Mnuchin said in an interview with Fox Business News.

And he said if inflation remains low, the Fed may not need to raise rates next year, even though the median forecast of central bankers is for two more increases.

Analysts also said the US indictment of two Chinese hackers tied to Beijing's security services reminded investors of the unsettled state of US-China trade relations.

"We have a trade war, the economy weakening, and now the possibility of a shutdown," said Peter Cardillo of Spartan Capital Securities. "All that is feeding by itself."

Earlier, the Nikkei plunged to a 15-month low after the Dow struck its lowest level of 2018 on Wednesday.

- Oil falls further -

In Europe, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index slid 0.8 percent, with losses capped by stronger-than-expected UK retail sales data.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 1.4 percent and the Paris CAC 40 slumped 1.8 percent. Both are near lows for the year.

Oil prices meanwhile continued to retreat on mounting worries over global growth.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate slumped nearly five percent to $45.88 a barrel, its lowest level since July 2017.

On the corporate front, shares in Airbus plunged nearly 10 percent after French daily newspaper Le Monde said the European aircraft maker could face fines of several billion dollars under a US corruption probe, before recovering somewhat to end the day down 4.4 percent.

On Wall Street, Altria finished 1.9 percent lower after announcing it will buy a 35 percent stake in popular e-cigarette maker Juul for $12.8 billion, betting on a key growth market amid declines in conventional cigarette sales.

- Key figures around 2200 GMT -

New York - Dow: DOWN 2.0 percent at 22,859.60 (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 1.6 percent at 2,467.42 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 1.6 percent at 6,528.41 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.8 percent at 6,711.93 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 1.4 percent at 10,611.10 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 1.8 percent at 4,692.46 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 1.7 percent at 3,000.06 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 2.8 percent at 20,392.58 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.9 percent at 25,623.53 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.5 percent at 2,536.27 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1450 from $1.1376 at 2200 GMT

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 111.24 yen from 112.48 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2659 from $1.2610

Oil - Brent Crude: DOWN $2.76 at $54.48 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN $2.29 at $45.88 per barrel
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on Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:35 pm
ස්තුතියි Invi
කොටස් වෙළඳපොලවල් පහළ යැමට හේතුව ඇමරිකාවේ ෆෙඩරල් සංචිත බැංකුව විසින් නැවත වරක් ඉලක්ක පොලී අනුපාතික ඉහළ දැමිම නේද?
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on Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:40 am
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US stocks plunge after Trump nationalism hits Apple sales in China

AFP - Wall Street suffered another pummeling on Thursday following a downbeat outlook from Apple on China sales and surprisingly weak US manufacturing data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 2.8 percent, or 660 points, at 22,686.22.

The broad-based S&P 500 slid 2.5 percent to 2,447.89, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index sank 3.0 percent to 6,463.50.

Apple plunged 10 percent to $142.19 in its worst session since 2013, losing almost $75 billion in market value.

The tech giant on Wednesday trimmed its sales forecast for the upcoming quarter, citing weak iPhone sales in China due in part to the US-China trade war.

That was followed Thursday by Institute for Supply Management data showing US manufacturing activity at a two-year low. The data still showed growth, but suggested the United States was seriously affected by a slowing global economy and global trade tensions.

The one-two developments "feed into the worries about the global growth rate," said Nate Thooft, a senior portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management. "It does increase the anxiety people have."

Some analysts questioned the extent to which Apple's travails were reflective of broader macro trends as opposed to being company-specific.

But White House economist Kevin Hassett said Apple was not alone, telling CNN there were "a heck of a lot of US companies" exposed to the Chinese market that were likely to see earnings downgraded until Washington and Beijing resolved their differences on trade.

The Apple and ISM developments overshadowed ADP's employment report, which showed private-sector firms had added 271,000 jobs in December, well above analyst forecasts.

That data came ahead of Friday's more closely-watched Department of Labor report. Analysts expect the US added 180,000 jobs last month and unemployment held at 3.7 percent.

Drug company Celgene surged 20.7 percent after it reached a deal to be bought by the larger pharma company Bristol-Myers Squibb for $74 billion. Bristol-Myers fell 13.3 percent.

Airline shares slumped after Delta Air Lines trimmed its revenue forecast, describing customer demand in late December as "more modest than anticipated."

Delta plunged 8.9 percent, United Continental 5.0 percent and American Airlines 7.5 percent.
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on Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:48 am
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US stocks rally on earnings, trade talks report

Jul 24, 2019 04:34 AM GMT+0530


AFP - Wall Street stocks rallied Tuesday following a batch of mostly good earnings and as reports that face-to-face US-China talks will be held next week lifted hopes of a trade agreement.

A broad range of companies from across the economy enjoyed strong gains after reporting results, reassuring investors who had been worried about a possible earnings "recession."

Analysts also pointed to news reports that US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will lead a delegation to China next week to resume negotiations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 27,349.19, up 0.7 percent and only about 10 points away from a fresh record.

The broad-based S&P 500 also gained 0.7 percent to end at 3,005.47, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.6 percent to close at 8,251.40.

The latest barrage of earnings released Tuesday bolstered confidence that "the economy is not as weak as some had estimated," said Karl Haeling of LBBW. "We have enough of a sample size of corporate reports."

Analysts say expectations the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates also are boosting stocks, while worries about a "hard" Brexit under newly-picked Prime Minister Boris Johnson was seen as a possible headwind.

The round of largely positive earnings and apparent progress on trade countered a more cautious IMF outlook for 2019 and 2020 growth which described conditions as "precarious."

Among individual companies, Dow member Coca-Cola shot up 6.1 percent as it lifted key 2019 financial projections, amid especially strong North American results.

Others seeing big gains after reporting quarterly results included toymaker Hasbro, industrial and aerospace giant United Technologies, paint company Sherwin-Williams, motorcycle company Harley-Davidson, JetBlue Airways and biotech company Biogen.

Banking shares rallied as the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note rose. Bank of America and Goldman Sachs both rose more than two percent.
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on Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:59 am
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European stocks slump, US also lower ahead of Fed decision

AFP - European stock markets slumped on Tuesday on lackluster earnings and economic data, while Wall Street edged lower ahead of a key Federal Reserve decision.

Adding to the angst were comments from US President Donald Trump accusing China of going back on commitments as trade talks resumed in Shanghai.

Frankfurt's benchmark DAX 30 index tumbled by more than two percent, with German airline Lufthansa slumping after weak profits and Bayer dropping on worries about mounting litigation at the company's Monsanto business over weed killer Roundup.

Paris was hurt by figures showing France's economy grew by less than expected in the second quarter.

London stocks also pulled back but outperformed eurozone markets as the weak pound lifted British-based multinationals who sell their goods abroad.

The British pound continued its slide to fresh two-year lows as more investors were betting on a no-deal Brexit, with newly-installed Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government taking shape.

"No one, probably including Boris himself, knows how close he will drive the UK car towards the 31 October cliff edge before applying the brakes -- or, indeed, whether he would stop," said a note from Eurasia Group.

Uncertainty about Brexit and the US-China trade talks add to the factors that the Fed was weighing as it began a two-day monetary policy meeting. The central bank is expected to cut interest rates on Wednesday but investors are not sure how big the cut will be.

- Consumers stay strong -

US consumer confidence in July rebounded strongly as survey respondents reported robust labor and business conditions and increased optimism, according to the Conference Board.

The report coincided with Commerce Department data showing a fifth consecutive monthly increase in personal income, suggesting retail spending should be healthy in the summer.

But analysts said the consumer data and other recent solid figures could complicate the Fed's course.

The better economic data means "the uncertainty surrounding the central bank's future policies has increased," said Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman.

Among individual companies, Procter & Gamble led the Dow's gainers, jumping 3.8 percent as it reported that quarterly sales rose 3.6 percent to $17.1 billion, which was better than expected.

The consumer products giant still reported a $5.2 billion quarterly loss following an $8 billion accounting hit on the lower value of the Gillette shaving business.

Pfizer plunged 6.4 percent as its deal announced Monday to merge its off-patent business with Mylan drew negative reviews.

A note on Pfizer from UBS said there was "not much to be excited about" in the deal, while both Morgan Stanley and Bank of America downgraded Pfizer. Mylan gained 3.1 percent.

In after-hours trading, Apple shares rose 2.9 percent after the technology giant reported a 13 percent decline in quarterly profit to $10 billion, but topped analyst expectations due to higher revenues from digital content and services.

- Key figures around 2040 GMT -

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.1 percent at 27,198.02 (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,013.18 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 0.2 percent at 8,273.61 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.5 percent at 7,646.77 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 2.2 percent at 12,147.24 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 1.6 percent at 5,511.07 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 1.7 percent at 3,462.85 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.4 percent at 21,709.31 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.1 percent at 28,146.50 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.4 percent at 2,952.34 (close)

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2151 from $1.2219 at 2100 GMT

Euro/pound: UP at 91.79 pence from 91.21

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1154 from $1.1145

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 108.59 yen from 108.78

Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.6 percent at $64.72 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 2.1 percent at $58.05 per barrel
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on Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:52 am
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Asia markets sink as the Chinese yuan tumbles

AFP - Asian markets plummeted Monday as the Chinese yuan fell sharply, days after US President Donald Trump's vow to impose fresh tariffs on goods from China sent trade war fears soaring.

Trump's announcement, which came on Thursday, means virtually all of the $660 billion in annual merchandise trade between the world's two biggest economies will be subject to punitive tariffs, with the latest duties due to take effect September 1.

The news saw all three major Wall Street indices slump to their lowest levels since June, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq recording their worst weekly losses of 2019 on Friday.

In China, the yuan dropped to its lowest level to the dollar since August 2010, fuelling speculation that Beijing was devaluing its currency to support exporters and offset Trump's latest threat to hit $300 billion in Chinese goods with 10 percent tariffs.

The US leader regularly accuses the Chinese central bank of artificially weakening the yuan -- charges long denied by Beijing.

The onshore yuan tumbled to 7.0307 against the dollar -- its lowest level since 2008 -- while the more freely traded offshore yuan tumbled to 7.1085, breaching the 7.0 level which investors see as a key threshold in currency value.

Multiple rounds of tit-for-tat tariffs between the world's top two economies have already battered trade, with China's American imports shrinking 30 percent in the first half of the year.

Beijing has vowed to hit back if Washington goes ahead with its latest threat, while news that demand for US exports had weakened underscored concern that trade was becoming a trouble spot for economies worldwide.

- 'A lot messier' -

"China is likely to drag out their response and retaliate in many ways against the US trade measures," warned Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

Although negotiators from both nations are expected to reconvene in Washington in early September for another round of talks after last week's discussions in Shanghai, investors remain nervous, Moya said.

"Financial markets are still working on pricing in a complete collapse of trade talks amongst the Chinese and Americans," he said.

"The base case still remains for a deal to get done, but talks are likely to get a lot messier before we see anything... that resembles a deal."

The yuan's depreciation spurred a sell-off across Asian markets, with Hong Kong losing more than three percent as pro-democracy protesters targeted the financial hub's transport network, launching a city-wide strike aimed at forcing concessions from its embattled pro-Beijing government.

Tokyo and Seoul shed 2.4 percent while Shanghai fell 0.8 percent. Singapore dropped 1.9 percent while Taipei and Bangkok were also down.

- Key figures around 0300 GMT -

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 2.4 percent at 20,590.87 (break)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 3.1 percent at 26,097.07

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.8 percent at 2,844.38

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2153 from $1.2162 at 2100 GMT Friday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1127 from $1.1106

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 105.88 yen from 106.59 yen

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN seven cents at $61.19 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 59 cents at $55.07 per barrel

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.4 percent at 26,485.01 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 2.3 percent at 7,407.06 (close)
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on Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:34 am
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Stock markets play waiting game before Fed chief speech

AFP - Global stock markets were pressured Thursday as investors avoided risk on the eve of a speech by Federal Reserve head Jerome Powell, hotly anticipated for clues on the interest rate outlook.

The British pound, meanwhile, gained on optimism that an orderly Brexit may yet be on the cards.

"Caution is the word of the day... ahead of the key speech by the Fed chairman Jerome Powell," said analyst Naeem Aslam at trading firm ThinkMarkets.

European stocks finished solidly lower following lackluster economic data, including a report that showed Germany suffering its biggest drop in new manufacturing orders in six years.

US stocks were mixed at the end of a choppy session that included another inversion of the US Treasury market, when the return on 10-year notes fell below that of two-year notes, a worrisome development seen as sign of a possible recession.

Gregori Volokhine, fund manager at Meeschaert Financial Services, said lackluster European data and the weight from the grinding US-China trade war are weighing on sentiment.

"There's a fear of a global slowdown and a sense that a 25- or 50-basis interest rate cut won't have much effect," Volokhine said, alluding to expectations that the US Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again next month.

Investors are awaiting Powell's speech Friday at the annual central bank conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that some analysts expect will signal a likely interest rate cut next month.

But if his message is opaque -- which it might be given the number of regional Fed officials voicing reticence to cut again so soon -- markets could be in for a wild ride Friday.

Futures investors still overwhelmingly expect the Fed to cut interest rates in September, but 6.5 percent now see no change, which is up from zero last week.
- Sterling's Boris bounce -

In foreign exchange, the British pound spiked after Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with French President Emmanuel Macron, following his talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel the day before.

Echoing Merkel, Macron supported allowing another month to find a solution to the issue of the Irish border which has bedeviled Brexit negotiations since 2017.

But he also said the so-called Irish backstop that has caused such controversy in London was "indispensable" and all talks had to be based on the withdrawal deal negotiated by Johnson's predecessor Theresa May repeatedly rejected by the British parliament.

"The pound is pushing higher after Merkel said we can find a solution to the backstop that will maintain the integrity of the single market, and uphold the principles of the Belfast Agreement 1998. The softer stance from the EU is helping sterling," said David Madden at CMC Markets.

"Who will blink?", asked Kallum Pickering at Berenberg.

Johnson is "playing a game of chicken with the EU and moderate Conservatives" and "bets that the EU will seek a compromise at the final hour", he said.

- Key figures around 2040 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 26,252.24 (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.1 percent at 2,922.95 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 0.4 percent at 7,991.39 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 1.1 percent at 7,128.18 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.5 percent at 11,747.04 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.9 percent at 5,388.25 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.6 percent at 3,373.67 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.1 percent at 20,628.01 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.8 percent at 26,048.72 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.1 percent at 2,883.44 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1086 from $1.1085 at 2100 GMT on Wednesday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2253 from $1.2130

Euro/pound: DOWN at 90.44 pence from 91.39 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 106.42 yen from 106.62 yen

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.6% at $59.92 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.6% cents at $55.35 per barrel
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on Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:43 am
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Global stocks boosted by China-US talk hopes

AFP - Stocks floated higher on Thursday, lifted by positive sentiment surrounding the US-China trade war, while the pound steadied after a Brexit-fueled slump.

China's Commerce Ministry hinted Beijing could break the cycle of tit-for-tat retaliation in the trade war with the United States, while in Washington US President Donald Trump said the two sides continued to talk.

Hope the countries could avoid catastrophe sent Wall Street higher for a second day while European stocks rebounded and London consolidated gains. Asian bourses were mainly flat.

"People are holding out hope," Maris Ogg of Tower Bridge Advisors told AFP, although that optimism may prove short lived.

"If the trade wars go away or dissipates, clearly you have a healthier economic environment," she said. "But you need some concrete actions for this to have long term impact."

In Milan, the FTSE MIB index gained almost 2.0 percent after Italian President Sergio Mattarella gave Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte a mandate to form a new government

Investors were mulling the significance of a fall in yields on 10-year US Treasurys, which recently dropped below that for two-year Treasury notes -- widely viewed as a reliable recession indicator.

It comes against a backdrop of slowing global growth.

In foreign exchange, the pound was stable a day after it fell on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's shock decision to bring an end to the parliamentary year and not restart it until mid-October.

While he said the extended recess was to draw up a full legislative program, anti-Brexiters were fuming that it would cut short any time they could have to debate a plan to avert a no-deal exit from the EU on October 31, with some calling it a "coup."

Johnson could face a vote of no confidence, which could lead to a British general election and continued uncertainty for the already struggling economy.

The euro fell back as incoming European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde signaled that she would stick with Mario Draghi's controversial expansionary monetary policy that has propped up the eurozone economy amid growing risks to growth.

- Key figures around 2100 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 1.3 percent at 26,362.25 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 1.3 percent at 2,924.58 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 1.5 percent at 7,973.39 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 1.0 percent at 7,184.32 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.2 percent at 11,838.88 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.5 percent at 5,449.97 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.4 percent at 3,411.33 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.1 percent at 20,460.93 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.3 percent at 25,703.50 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.1 percent at 2,890.92 (close)

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2182 from $1.2213 at 2100 GMT

Euro/pound: UP at 90.76 pence from 90.68 pence

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1057 from $1.1076

Dollar/yen: UP at 106.51 yen from 106.14 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 59 cents at $61.08 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 93 cents at $56.71 per barrel
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on Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:50 am
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US stocks surge on trade talk plans, pound strengthens more



AFP – Global stocks mostly rose Thursday following news that the United States and China will resume high-level trade talks in October, although London shares fell as the pound continued to strengthen on the decreasing odds of a no-deal Brexit.




Wall Street equities were especially buoyant, with major indices winning more than one percent, after China’s commerce ministry said Vice Premier Liu He, Beijing’s point man on trade, agreed to October talks in a call with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday.




The announcement came less than a week after both Beijing and Washington enacted new tariff measures on each other. The grinding dispute has hung over markets for more than a year.




US stocks were also lifted by data showing showed increased private-sector hiring in August and better-than-expected services sector activity.




On Friday, the Labor Department releases the closely watched government jobs report for August.




Bourses in Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo also rose, but London retreated as Sterling continued to strengthen.




The British pound topped $1.23, hitting a one-month peak as the prospect of a “no deal” Brexit seemed to fade after a series of parliamentary votes tore up Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s hardline stance.


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Johnson himself remained defiant, saying he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than delay Brexit beyond next month, as he urged lawmakers who oppose his plan to support an early election.




MPs in the House of Commons this week passed a bill that could stop Johnson taking Britain out of the European Union without a divorce deal with Brussels.




They also rejected his call for a snap election to resolve the political deadlock that has characterized the past three years since the 2016 referendum vote for Brexit.




The vote left Johnson in limbo, his Brexit plan in tatters but with no way out after his parliamentary majority was destroyed by a Conservative party rebellion over the issue.




As a result, his government announced it would try again to force an election with a House of Commons vote on Monday, and he challenged the opposition Labour party to back it.




“The pound has been behaving as a tidy barometer of the odds of a no-deal Brexit,” Rabobank analyst Jane Foley told AFP.




“The pound is clearly not out of the woods with political uncertainty still at very elevated levels — but the risk of a disorderly Brexit next month at least looks set to be pushed off the table,” Foley added.




– Key figures around 2040 GMT –




New York – Dow: UP 1.4 percent at 26,728.15 (close)




New York – S&P 500: UP 1.3 percent at 2,976.00 (close)




New York – Nasdaq: UP 1.8 percent at 8,116.83 (close)




London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.6 percent at 7,271.17 (close)




Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.9 percent at 12,126.78 (close)




Paris – CAC 40: UP 1.1 percent at 5,593.37 (close)




EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.0 percent at 3,484.70 (close)
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U.S. Stocks Were Halted After 7 Percent Plunge: Live Updates



Stock selling reaches extremes as investors face a new crisis.

Oil markets crashed and stocks plunged on Monday as a sudden clash among the world’s biggest oil producers gave already rattled investors another reason to worry about the global economy.

Five minutes into the trading day in the United States, the plunge in the S&P 500 hit 7 percent, triggering an automatic trading halt for 15 minutes. The benchmark recovered some ground soon after trading resumed, and was down about 6 percent.

Financial markets have whipped around for weeks as investors struggled to quantify the economic impact of the spreading coronavirus: stocks have tumbled, oil prices cratered, and yields on government bonds reflected a sense among investors that there was worse still to come.

But over the weekend, two of the world’s major oil producers, Saudi Arabia and Russia, added a new element to the mix by setting off a price war for crude. While low oil prices can be beneficial, they can also disrupt economies that depend heavily on petroleum dollars. The fall in oil prices since the start of the coronavirus also signals a global economic slowdown.



Oil lost nearly a quarter of its value in futures markets on Monday, dragging shares of energy companies lower. It was what one analyst called “another acute shock to markets.”

In Europe, major stock benchmarks were down more than 7 percent. Shares ended sharply lower in Asia also.

As stocks fell, investors seeking a safe harbor pushed yields on government bonds to historic lows. The yield on the closely watched 10 year U.S. Treasury bond, which falls as the price of the bonds rise, dropped below 0.5 percent, about half the level of just a week ago.

Even before the weekend’s developments, stocks in the United States and other major financial markets had fallen by more than 10 percent in a sudden downdraft that began as the coronavirus began to spread outside of China.



The problem globally is growing worse.

On Sunday, Italy took the dramatic step of locking down a large chunk of its industrial northern region. In the United States, a top government disease expert warned that regional lockdowns there might become necessary, though he played down the idea of tight quarantines like the kind China has enacted.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/09/business/stock-market-today.html
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on Sat Mar 14, 2020 7:55 am
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Asian equities in freefall after Wall St, Europe implode on virus fears



AFP – Asian equities went into freefall on Friday, extending a global rout that saw markets experience their worst day in decades as fears of a worldwide recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic wiped trillions off valuations.

Shellshocked investors fled for the hills as governments across Europe and in the United States struggled to get a grip on the crisis that has swept across the planet and shut communities down.

Central bank moves to support financial markets have also failed to staunch the bloodletting, while Donald Trump’s decision to shut the US border to European travellers added to the panic.

“Markets remain in a freefall as uncertainty persists with no reliable anchor which can create near-term stability,” Ben Emons, at Medley Global Advisors in New York, said.

Tokyo fell as much as 10 percent at one point, while Sydney and Seoul shed eight percent. Hong Kong plunged more than six percent, as did Singapore, Wellington and Taipei.

Shanghai was the least affected by the meltdown, falling a little more than three percent as the number of new cases in China, the centre of the outbreak, shrinks and people slowly return to work in the worst-hit areas.

The losses follow a virtual implosion on Wall Street and in Europe.

The Dow lost 10 percent in its worst session since 1987, while London also had its worst day since that year. Frankfurt had its blackest day since 1989, the year the Berlin Wall fell, while Paris suffered its worst one-day loss on record.

Analysts said Trump’s ban on travel from Europe deeply rattled investors, and measures intended to shore up business and markets were proving insufficient.

The New York Federal Reserve announced measures to inject an additional $1.5 trillion into financial markets this week and launch a modest bond-buying programme, while the European Central Bank unveiled emergency efforts but did not include an interest rate cut.



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#NextGenSL wants parties to limit political rallies













– ‘Behind the curve’ –

“The turmoil in markets has moved up another notch over the past 24 hours with President Trump’s European travel ban and underwhelming stimulatory measures adding more fuel to the fire of uncertainty, instead of providing a dose of reassurance,” wrote National Australia Bank’s senior FX strategist Rodrigo Catril.

“New containment measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 have increased the prospect of a severe global economic growth downturn,” he added.

The crisis has hit stocks across the board, with the travel industry taking an especially heavy blow as new restrictions prompt mass cancellations, while sporting events have been scrapped around the world and everything from museums to Disney theme parks have shut their doors.

The crisis has raised fears of a global recession, with significant uncertainty about how bad the economic fallout might become.

“In mere weeks, the market has shifted gears from a transitory health scare to a full-blown global recession,” wrote Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AxiCorp.

“Global supply chains are no longer just ‘disrupted’ but are now in the process of shutting down completely,” he added.

“And even more worrisome is that the worst-case scenario and the sum of all fears are culminating with the view that policymakers remain well behind the curve.”

Markets have also been shaken by an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, compounded by fears that travel restrictions will further dampen energy demand.

Both main contracts, which have collapsed in their worst week since the financial crisis in 2008, were both down more than two percent.

On currency markets, the dollar surged against high-yielding, riskier units with the South Korean, Australian and Canadian dollars, Thai baht, and South African rand all more than one percent down.

It also rose against the yen despite the Japanese unit’s safe-haven position.

– Key figures around 0230 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 8.0 percent at 17,081.14 (break)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 6.2 percent at 22,809.38

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 3.3 percent at 2,828.28

Dollar/yen: UP at 105.08 yen from 104.79 yen at 2100 GMT

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1184 from $1.1179

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2546 from $1.2557

Euro/pound: UP at 89.14 pence from 88.96 pence

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 2.1 percent at $32.52 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2.5 percent at $30.70 per barrel

New York – Dow: DOWN 10.0 percent at 21,200.62 (close)

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 10.9 percent at 5,237.48 (close)

— Bloomberg News contributed to this story —
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on Tue Mar 17, 2020 9:48 am
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US stocks dive more than 10-pct on recession worries

Monday March 16, 2020 19:50:54

AFP – Wall Street stocks plunged more than 10 percent early Monday as panic over the economic hit from the coronavirus outbreak offset emergency moves by the Federal Reserve.

About 25 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 20,669.42, down 10.9 percent, or around 2,500 points, resuming trading after a 15-minute suspension triggered by steep losses.

The broad-based S&P 500 sank 10.6 percent to 2,422.69, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dove 10.5 percent to 7,051.77.

The grim beginning to the US session came as bourses in Asia and Europe fell hard as the outbreak effectively shuttered Spain and much of France and halted more economic activity in the United States, especially in New York City and other regions with emerging coronavirus clusters.

Manufacturing activity in New York state fell to its lowest level since 2009, according to the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s monthly industry survey, among the first datapoints to show a massive hit from the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Fed announced late Sunday a series of emergency measures, including lowering interest rates to a range of 0-0.25 percent, where it was during the 2008 global financial crisis, and removing reserve requirements to allow banks to use cash backstops to meet unexpected funding needs.

“The Fed’s actions, while well intended, have had an opposite effect on investor sentiment,” said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare.

“They have generated fear, not confidence, as the spread and scope of their actions resonates now as more of a ‘catch-up’ action than a pro-active action.”
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on Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:12 pm
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Asian markets extend gains, dollar sinks on stimulus pledges

AFP – Asian equities rallied again and the dollar extended losses Friday, with traders buoyed by government and central bank pledges to prop up the global economy as the coronavirus sends countries into lockdown.

Despite the painful toll the disease is inflicting on lives and economies, markets are on course to end the week with healthy gains following a barrage of stimulus and monetary easing.

While the number of people contracting COVID-19 continues to escalate — the US now has more cases than China and Italy — the support measures, which the G20 said amounted to $5 trillion, have given traders hope that the expected recession will be sharp but short.

Even news that a record 3.3 million Americans claimed unemployment for the first time last week — smashing the previous all-time high of 695,000 set in 1982 — was unable to derail a rally in New York with the Dow and S&P 500 up more than six percent.

The S&P 500 has now recorded its quickest three-day advance in nine decades, according to Bloomberg News.

And Dan Skelly at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management said stocks, which have been clobbered in recent weeks, were showing signs of forming a bottom.

“While we do believe this will be possibly the sharpest recession in history, it may also be the shortest, so there is room to be optimistic for a second-half rebound,” he told Bloomberg TV.

The advance in Wall Street extended into Asia, where Tokyo went into the break 1.2 percent higher, while Hong Kong, Seoul, Wellington and Taipei also rose more than one percent.

Singapore jumped 2.5 percent, Manila more than three percent and Jakarta almost seven percent. Sydney, however, fell two percent.

Support has come from a $2 trillion stimulus bill that is making its way through Congress and is expected to be passed by the House of Representatives Friday before being signed off by Donald Trump.



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– ‘Massive positive’ –

“For investors, this package should be good for US equities and other risk assets as it should leave US corporations in a better position to weather the economic downturn and thrive in the rebound,” said David Kelly, at JP Morgan Asset Management.

Also on Thursday, Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell said the US central bank would continue to “aggressively” pump liquidity into the economy.

“When it comes to this lending, we’re not going to run out of ammunition. That doesn’t happen,” Powell said on NBC.

AxiCorp analyst Stephen Innes said: “The Fed’s bazookas appear to be filtering through, and that’s a massive positive the market is running with.”

However, he warned: “It’s impossible to gauge the ultimate economic impact or the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic for weeks, possibly months, and until that point, the sustainability of any rally in stocks is questionable.”

The Fed’s promise to effectively print cash has sent the dollar tumbling this week and it continued to fall across the board Friday, with higher-yielding, riskier units enjoying some respite.

The Mexican peso jumped more than three percent, while the South Korean won was more than one percent higher. Australia’s and New Zealand’s dollars were each up around two percent.

Oil enjoyed an upturn after taking another severe hit on Thursday from ongoing worries about the impact of the virus on demand as well as the price war between major producers Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Adding to crude market weakness was a warning from the head of the International Energy Agency that consumption could drop by 20 million barrels a day.

Also, industry consultant IHS Markit warned that current output levels cannot be sustained throughout the second quarter because storage capacity will fill up.

“Production is going to have to be reduced or even shut in. It is now a matter of where and by how much,” said Jim Burkhard, vice president and head of oil markets at IHS Markit.

– Key figures around 0230 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.2 percent at 18,895.30 (break)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 1.1 percent at 23,614.09

Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.8 percent at 2,787.36

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1044 from $1.1031 at 2150 GMT

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 108.40 yen from 109.44 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2216 from $1.2204

Euro/pound: UP at 90.40 pence from 90.39 pence

Brent North Sea crude: UP 2.1 percent at $26.90 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 2.8 percent at $23.23 per barrel

New York – Dow: UP 6.4 percent at 22,552.17 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 2.2 percent at 5,815.73 (close)
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on Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:26 pm
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Asian markets lifted by hopes on virus but oil in retreat

AFP – Asian markets rose Monday as some of the world’s worst-hit countries reported falling death rates, providing some much-needed hope in the battle against the coronavirus, though oil prices were rocked after a meeting of top producers was delayed.

While the disease continues its deadly sweep across the planet, with more than 1.25 million now infected and nearly 70,000 dead, news out of Europe that fatalities were easing has lifted spirits on trading floors.

Italy reported its lowest daily toll in two weeks, while Spanish officials said deaths fell for the third straight day and France reported its lowest daily toll in a week.

Meanwhile, South Korea saw its fewest new cases in six weeks, while Donald Trump said the US was showing signs of stabilising, despite the number of cases there passing 335,000 — the highest in the world.

The virus “appears to be reaching a peak in Europe, with Italy seeing the number of patients in intensive care falling for the second consecutive day”, said National Australia Bank’s Tapas Strickland.

“Note, Italy imposed a countrywide lockdown on March 9, and so is supportive of the view that the virus peaks and peters out after 15-30 days following a strict lockdown. Focus in markets will now turn to the path out of lockdown and to what extent containment measures can be lifted without risking a second wave of infections.”

And Lindsey Piegza, at Stifel Nicolaus & Co., told Bloomberg TV she was hopeful that the crisis can be brought under control and the US economy reopened “by the end of April, early May”.

“If that does occur, it’s likely that we’re able to control the downturn from a depressionary scenario into a recessionary scenario”.

The relatively upbeat news lifted Asian markets, which shrugged off data Friday showing a massive drop in US jobs in March that added to news that millions of people had applied for unemployment benefits.

Tokyo went into the break more than two percent higher, while Sydney also piled on more than two percent on new infections in Australia showed signs of falling.

Seoul added nearly two percent, Hong Hong was up 1.1 percent and Singapore, Manila and Jakarta were all more than one percent higher.

– ‘A long tunnel’ –

However, observers remain cautious as the US enters what Trump said would be “a time that’s going to be very horrendous” with “some really bad numbers”.

The country’s Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned on Fox News: “This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment.”

Erik Nielsen, of UniCredit SpA, said: “There is light at the end of the tunnel but it’s still a long tunnel.”

Attention this week will be on a planned meeting of OPEC and other key crude producers aimed at easing a supply glut that has sent oil prices crashing.

Both main contracts soared last week as Trump said Saudi Arabia and Russia would hold talks on ending their price war, while it also emerged OPEC would be holding a teleconference on Monday.

However, investors were dealt a blow over the weekend when the meeting was delayed to Thursday, while analysts said there were doubts that the US would take part in them, which could be a major sticking point for Moscow and Riyadh.

“If the Americans don’t take part, the problem which existed before for the Russians and Saudis will remain — that they cut output while the US ramps it up, and that makes the whole thing impossible,” Fyodor Lukyanov, a Kremlin adviser, said.

But even if a deal is reached there is widespread scepticism that cuts of 10 million barrels a day that have been suggested will be enough to help the oil market owing to the collapse in demand caused by coronavirus.

“The likelihood of a deal being done is extremely low,” Daniel Hynes, at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, said. “Certainly the type of agreement you’d need to stabilise the market is a long shot given how much demand has been hit.”

On currency markets the pound was struggling after news broke that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been admitted to hospital as a “precautionary step” as he had failed to shake off coronavirus symptoms after 10 days

– Key figures around 0330 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 2.4 percent at 18,249.57 (break)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 1.1 percent at 23,490.02

Shanghai – Composite: Closed for a holiday

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 3.6 percent at $32.88 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 5.9 percent at $26.67 per barrel

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0811 from $1.0807 at 2030 GMT on Friday

Dollar/yen: UP at 108.87 yen from 108.42 yen

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2233 from $1.2273

Euro/pound: UP at 88.40 pence from 88.04 pence

New York – Dow: DOWN 1.7 percent at 21,052.53 (close)

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 1.4 percent at 5,406.17 (close)
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on Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:39 am
US stocks rally on latest coronavirus updates as European bourses dip

AFP – Wall Street stocks rallied on data suggesting the coronavirus was cresting in New York and other hotspots, while European bourses mostly fell amid bickering over an EU support plan for the region’s businesses.

The Dow ended up 3.4 percent, picking up momentum after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state had suffered 779 fatalities over the last day, a new record, but that the hospitalization rate was continuing to decrease because of social confinement orders

“We are flattening the curve,” Cuomo told reporters.

The improved data from New York and some other hotspots has buoyed investment bulls who think the US economy may be able to ramp up before too long. But other commentators are far more skeptical, noting that the trajectory of the virus remains highly worrisome in other parts of the United States.

Earlier, most European stock markets slid as the economic damage from the coronavirus became apparent and the region’s leaders failed to coalesce around a stimulus proposal, pressuring the euro.

“European markets have slipped back today as investors got a flavor of the economic destruction being wrought across Europe by the virus,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

The Bank of France said the nation’s economy likely contracted six percent in the first quarter, putting it in recession and marking the worst performance since 1945.

The German economy, Europe’s biggest, is expected to shrink by nearly 10 percent in the second quarter as the coronavirus paralyses the country, leading research institutes warned Wednesday.

Meanwhile, EU finance ministers failed to agree on a coronavirus bailout package for hard hit countries such as Italy and Spain.

Finance ministers were unable to bridge divides after 16 hours of talks that will now resume Thursday.

In Asian trading, Tokyo jumped more than two percent, helped by a weaker yen and details of Japan’s huge stimulus package worth $1 trillion amid a month-long state of emergency for Tokyo and six other regions in the country following a spike in coronavirus cases.

– Oil higher –

Oil prices climbed Wednesday, but the commodity continues to swing as traders keenly await Thursday’s planned meeting of the world’s top producers to discuss a possible output cut.

Crude oil has been seared by the virus as lockdowns around the world bring the global economy to a standstill and dampen demand, while a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia has compounded the crisis.

With Riyadh and Moscow taking part in the meeting Thursday, there are hopes they might draw a line under their dispute.

Howie Lee, an economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. said that while a cut of 10 million barrels “would lend some support to prices,” US participation was key, otherwise other producers would not be likely to take part.

The base case is still that a deal will get done or that talks will be extended, and that is pretty much (the) only thing keeping oil prices supported,” said senior market analyst Edward Moya at online trading group OANDA.

– Key figures around 2050 GMT –

New York – Dow: UP 3.4 percent at 23,433.57 (close)

New York – S&P 500: UP 3.4 percent at 2,749.98 (close)

New York – Nasdaq: UP 2.6 percent at 8,090.90 (close)

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.5 percent at 5,677.73 (close)

Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.2 percent at 10,332.89 (close)

Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.1 percent at 4,442.75 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.2 percent at 2,851.27 (close)

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 2.1 percent at 19,353.24 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 1.2 percent at 23,970.37 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.2 percent at 2,815.37 (close)

Brent North Sea crude: UP 3.0 percent at $32.84 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 6.2 percent at $25.09 per barrel

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0850 from $1.0892 at 2100 GMT

Dollar/yen: UP at 108.90 yen from 108.76 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2375 from $1.2332

Euro/pound: DOWN at 87.66 pence from 88.32
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