KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – European stocks fell Thursday while Asian markets ended mixed after trading in a narrow range, after a seven-day Wall Street rally faded. The U.S. dollar retreated slightly after hitting a 13-year high but oil prices rebounded.
KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 fell 0.2 per cent to 4,493.41 while Germany’s DAX shed 0.3 per cent to 10,632.58. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares fell 0.6 per cent at 6,749.72. U.S. stocks were poised for a steady opening, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.1 per cent.
ANALYST’S TAKE: Alex Furber, sales trader at CMC Markets in Singapore, said markets are still struggling for direction, stymied by uncertainty what President-elect Donald Trump will do. Markets are watching for Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen’s testimony on the economic outlook to Congress later Thursday, and for the release of a slew of economic data, including October consumer prices and weekly jobless claims.
“It is very difficult to differentiate what is campaign and what is rhetoric. There is a lot of uncertainty over what policies will actually be put in place in the first 100 days of his presidency,” Furber said. “That is why the rally in the U.S. has started to fade last night.”
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude rebounded, rising 21 cents to $45.78 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract closed down 24 cents to $45.57 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, added 19 cents to $46.82 a barrel in London.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei was flat at 17,862.63 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index eased 0.1 per cent to 22,262.88. China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1 per cent to 3,208.45 and Australia’s S&P/ASX rose 0.2 per cent to 5,338.50, while benchmarks in Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore gained.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.13 yen from 109.15 yen late Wednesday. The euro rose to $1.0728 from $1.0681.