May 24, 2013
Global shares end flat as investors await central bank moves
The Standard & Poor's 500 just barely extended a streak of gains to a fourth day on Wednesday, ending above 1,400 in another thinly traded session.
Expectations for stimulus from the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve triggered the recent gains, but investors found little reason to keep pushing stocks higher after driving the market to three-month highs.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 7.04 points, or 0.05 percent, to 13,175.64 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index edged up just 0.87 of a point, or 0.06 percent, to finish at 1,402.22. But the Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 4.61 points, or 0.15 percent, to end at 3,011.25.
European shares held near four-month highs with gains in miners and the scandal-hit banking sector outpacing weakness in autos and oils as the wait went on for more central bank action stimulate the global economy.
The FTSEurofirst 300 closed up 1.86 points or 0.2 percent at 1,096.05, inching nearer the 2012 peak it hit in mid-March in light trading. Europe's top shares have rallied 7.4 percent, partly on hopes of central bank stimulus, since ECB President Mario Draghi pledged late last month to do what it takes to preserve the euro.
Japan's Nikkei average rose for a third day today on fresh hopes of further stimulus from central banks, but pared gains after brushing close to the psychologically key 9,000 level ahead of Friday's options settlement.
The Nikkei closed up 0.9 percent to 8,881.16, managing to break above its 75-day moving average. However, it retreated from its 200-day moving average of 8,955.47 after breaking through it to reach 8,962.95 in the morning. The last time the benchmark index was at the 9,000 level was in early July.
Today the broader Topix inched up to 745.64 as the number of shares changing hands on the board hit a two-month high of 2.1 billion, the most since June 8.