This article is originally referred from IFC Markets - Market Overview
US stocks edged lower in thin trading
US stocks closed slightly lower on Thursday with US indices posting the second straight day of losses.
Banking and energy sectors were the bottom performers while utilities, real estate investment trusts and phone companies advanced amid lower bond yields.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.1% to 19,819.78. The S&P 500 index dipped 0.03% to 2,249.26 while Nasdaq composite dropped 0.1% to 5,432.09.
Trading was light ahead of the New Year’s Day holiday. US dollar index, a measure of a greenback’s value against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.6 percent at 102.09.
Investors sentiment was supported by positive economic data from the Labor Department, which reported that fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, continuing a nearly 2-year trend that suggests a solid job market.
Weekly requests for unemployment aid fell 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000. Over the past year, the number of people collecting benefits has fallen almost 5% to 2.1mln.
European stocks mixed on Thursday
European stocks were mixed on Thursday. Germany’s DAX dipped 0.2%, while France’s CAC 40 lost 0.2%.
Britain’s FTSE 100 ended the day at its second record close in two days, trading 0.2% higher at 7,120.26 points.
British stocks have benefited from pound weakening against other world currencies, which tends to drive up earnings for the multinationals and energy companies that dominate the index.
Today on Friday euro surprisingly skyrocketed during the Asian trading hours: EURUSD surged from $1.0490 to $1.0650 in a matter of minutes before easing back somewhat.
Now it is trading 0.7% up at around $1.0550.
Asian stocks mixed on last trading day of 2016
Asian stocks were mixed on last trading day of 2016. Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 0.2% to 19,114.37 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 1% to 22,000.56.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.2% to close at 3,103.64.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.6% to 5,665.80.
Markets in Southeast Asia were higher. South Korean markets were closed for holiday.
Speaking of USDJPY currency pair, the dollar strengthened to 116.83 yen from 116.37 yen.
Oil steadied ahead of New Year holiday
Oil futures prices were almost flat ahead of holidays.
Benchmark U.S. WTI rose 17 cents to $53.94 per barrel in New York having lost 29 cents on Thursday.
Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 8 cents to $56.14 a barrel in London.
Gold hits a 14-day high
Spot gold hit its highest in more than a fortnight and added 0.3% at $1,161.93.
The metal advanced more that 1% in the previous session, its biggest daily percentage gain since late September.
Gold has risen over 9% so far this year despite an 8% drop in November, snapping a three-year losing streak.
Original Source: IFC Markets - Market Overview