Global stocks steady ahead of US data

FILE – In this Dec. 14, 2010 file photo, trader Richard Newman works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo, file)

LONDON (AP) — Global stock markets traded in narrow ranges Thursday as volumes dried up ahead of the Christmas break and a raft of U.S. economic data that could provide traders with some last-minute direction.

Stocks have shown little momentum in recent days due to the proximity of the Christmas/New Year break and the fact that many major indexes have returned to levels last seen before Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008, which plunged the financial world into crisis and contributed to a global recession.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.1 percent at 5,987.90 while Germany’s DAX rose 0.1 percent to 7,074.51. The CAC-40 in France fell 0.2 percent to 3,910.82.

Wall Street was poised for a flat opening after further gains Wednesday — Dow futures were up 3 points at 11,498 while the broader Standard Poor’s 500 futures were flat at 1,254.50.

How stocks perform on Wall Street will likely hinge on a raft of economic data due for release.

Most interest will focus on weekly jobless claims figures, November durable goods orders data and the University of Michigan’s assessment of consumer confidence in December.

“U.S. economic data could provide the little bit of Christmas magic needed to get the festivities started,” said Will Hedden, sales trader at IG Index.

Though figures Wednesday showed the U.S. economy grew by a lower than anticipated 2.6 percent annualized rate in the third quarter of the year, the general consensus remains that the U.S. economic recovery is gaining traction, partly thanks to a recent deal to extend tax cuts to all Americans.

Once Thursday’s U.S. figures are out of the way, traders will be preparing for the Christmas break, with many off until the new year. Christmas Eve on Friday is a holiday in the U.S. and Germany, and a half day in Britain and France.

The recent drive up in stocks over upbeat signs on the U.S. economic recovery, an easing in tensions in Europe’s debt crisis and greater corporate deal-making has also pushed oil prices up to 26-month highs — above $90 a barrel. Freezing winter conditions in Europe have bolstered crude’s rally.

Benchmark oil for February delivery rose 11 cents to $90.59 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In the currency markets, the euro was unchanged at $1.31 but the dollar was 0.7 percent lower at 82.95 yen.

Earlier in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.6 percent to 22,902.97, as worries over a possible interest rate hike in China cast a pall on the upbeat overseas news. South Korea’s Kospi also fell 0.3 percent to 2,037.50 while the Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.8 percent to 2,855.20.

Elsewhere, Australia’s SP/ASX 200 rose 0.4 percent at 4,888.20.

Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.

GD Star Rating


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Shopping Cart

There are no items in your cart.

Our Products

  • Credit Repair Guide

    There are many misconceptions about credit scores out there. There are customers who believe that they don’t have a credit score and many customers who think that their credit scores just don’t really matter. These sorts of misconceptions can hurt your chances at some jobs, at good interest rates, and even your chances of getting More Info »
    by Camarillo Publishing
  • Do-It-Yourself Loan Modification Software Kit

    The loan modification software guides the you the homeowner to the necessary calculations and forms that the banks are looking for, they are done for you instantly. You simply enter your information and the software does the rest. The software also integrates the new Obama home rescue program designed to give you homeowners a better More Info »
    by Camarillo Publishing
  • Free Short Sale e-Book

    WARNING: Do not list your home as a Short Sale until you have read this totally FREE report. This eBook can help you to buy another home in as little as 12 months!
    by Camarillo Publishing
  • Lender Forms

    An assorted collection of lender forms.
    by Camarillo Publishing




Call Now: 866-945-4215