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Thursday, December 19, 2013

US bonds fall, stocks stall after Fed tapers

US government bond prices fell today as doubts emerged about the Federal Reserve's commitment to rock-bottom interest rates, while most US stock prices stalled after the prior day's hefty gains.

Gold slid to a six-month low, extending months of weakness after the U.S. central bank finally took its first step to roll back its ultra-loose policy that has lifted the value of the precious metal to record territory in recent years.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average ended up 11.11 points, or 0.07 percent, at 16,179.08. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index finished down 1.05 points, or 0.06 percent, at 1,809.60. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed down 11.93 points, or 0.29 percent, at 4,058.14.

European shares, meanwhile, posted their biggest one-day gain in three months after the US Federal Reserve unveiled plans to phase out its stimulus plan more gently than many had expected in the face of a stronger economy.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 rose 1.8 percent to 1,281.87 points, its biggest one-day gain since September.

The index is up 3.2 percent so far this week, setting it on course for its biggest weekly rise since April and taking its gains for the year to 13 percent.

The Euro STOXX 50 closed up 1.9 percent at 3,031.05 points and the cost of insuring against future swings in the index, as measured by the Euro STOXX volatility index , fell 10.5 percent, the biggest daily drop since October.

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Tags:  Europe  shares  stocks  markets  Nikkei  


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