US stocks pause advance
Dollar strengthens as import prices gain
US stock market paused on Thursday after reports suggesting US-China trade deal will not be finalized this month following news a meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will be delayed until at least April. The S&P 500 slipped 0.1% to 2808.48. The Dow Jones industrial average however added 0.03% to 25709.94. Nasdaq composite index fell 0.2% to 7630.91. The dollar strengthening resumed as the price of imported goods rose by 0.6% on month in February, the largest increase in nine months while initial jobless claims rose by 6000 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, rose 0.3% to 96.715 but is lower currently. Futures on US stock indexes point to higher openings today.
European Indexes rise as UK parliament votes for Brexit delay
European stocks extended gains on Thursday as investors awaited UK vote on Brexit delay. Both GBP/USD and EUR/USD turned lower but are higher curently. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.8%. Germany’s DAX 30 added 0.1% to 11587.47. France’s CAC 40 gained 0.8% and UK’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.4% to 7185.43 as British parliament voted to request an extension of the March 29 Brexit deadline to June 30 if lawmakers can agree to a withdrawal deal by March 20.
Shanghai Composite leads Asian indices gains
Asian stock indices are mostly higher today. Nikkei added 0.8% to 21450.85 with yen slide against the dollar decelerating. China’s stocks rose as Premier Li Keqiang said regulators can use interest rates, other policy steps to stimulate the economy, and a new law against the forced transfer of technology by foreign companies legislators was approved on Friday, which has been a major complaint by foreign investors. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is 0.9% higher. Australia’s All Ordinaries Index however pulled back 0.1% as Australian dollar turned higher against the greenback.
Brent futures prices are gaining today. Prices declined yesterday on reports OPEC output fell at a significantly reduced rate than the month prior and well-below the group’s pledge to the market: Brent for May settlement closed 0.5% lower at $67.23 a barrel on Thursday.
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