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European stocks dip before Wall Street return

LONDON (AFP) – 

European stock markets headed towards the weekend on a slightly weaker note Friday, as Tokyo again pushed higher thanks to a weaker yen and before Wall Street reopens after Thanksgiving.

London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index dipped to a loss of 0.1 percent, as unrevised official data showed Britain’s economy grew by 0.5 percent in the third quarter.

The update came two days after the UK government said Britain’s economy would grow far slower than expected next year as state borrowing jumps mainly as a result of a projected financial fallout from Brexit.

“The only real piece of weighty news today was UK GDP, and even this didn’t really cause much excitement, given the quarter-on-quarter figure was unchanged from the previous forecast,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG trading group.

Wall Street reopens Friday after Thanksgiving, although only for a shortened trading session.

With traders confident the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates before Christmas, the dollar is cruising along, hitting record highs against India’s rupee and the Turkish lira and touching multi-month highs elsewhere.

The advance has come hand in hand with a rally across world markets since Donald Trump’s shock presidential election win, with dealers expecting his big spending, low tax plans will boost the world’s top economy.

However, there are some concerns inside emerging market governments about his campaign pledge to review global trade deals, which could lead to an era of protectionism and throw up huge US tariffs.

All eyes meanwhile were on the Wall Street reopening following Thursday’s break.

– ‘Freshly stuffed’ –

Market activity “could perk up a bit this afternoon, with the Dow Jones likely on track to hit another all-time peak at some point during the session”, noted Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.

“Freshly stuffed following Thanksgiving, the futures are suggesting the US index will cross the 19,100 mark after the bell, a remarkable feat not only because it follows the shocking US election result, but because it comes around 3 weeks before an increasingly certain rate hike from the Federal Reserve.”

In Asian trading hours Friday, the dollar hit an eight-month high at 113.90 yen — providing more support for Japan’s exporters — before falling back in European trades.

Japan’s Nikkei stocks index came off earlier highs but still ended 0.3-percent higher, its seventh straight gain.

Another weak reading on Japanese consumer prices meant any monetary tightening by Japan’s central bank was unlikely in the foreseeable future.

Oil prices weakened as markets looked ahead to next week’s meeting of the OPEC oil cartel to discuss a possible cut in crude output.

– Key figures around 1100 GMT –

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 6,825.15 points

Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.1 percent at 10,676.83

Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.1 percent at 4,534.52

EURO STOXX 50: FLAT at 3,039.15

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.3 percent at 18,381.22 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.5 percent at 22,723.45 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.6 percent at 3,261.94 (close)

New York – Dow: UP 0.3 percent at 19,083.1 (Wednesday)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0596 from $1.0553 Thursday

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 113.09 yen from 113.20 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2466 from $1.2464

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 44 cents at $47.52 a barrel

Oil – Brent North Sea: DOWN 55 cents at $48.45

© 2016 AFP

Article source: http://www.france24.com/en/20161125-european-stocks-dip-before-wall-street-return