December 18, 2014
Stocks rise, dollar mixed after recent US data
Global equity markets mostly rose and the dollar traded mixed on Friday as recent data that has underpinned hopes for sustained US economic growth offset new data showing home resales fell to an 18-month low last month.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 29.93 points, or 0.19 percent, to 16,103.3. The S&P 500 lost 3.53 points, or 0.19 percent, to 1,836.25 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.135 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,263.41.
In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top regional shares closed up 0.32 percent to 1,343.12 points, led by a 0.59 percent rise in France's CAC 40 index to a 5-1/2-year high.
A recent trend of companies in France delivering decent profits and better outlooks, in contrast to last year when a weak economy hit earnings and caused the CAC to underperform, has lifted the French benchmark.
The dollar retreated against a basket of currencies, but managed to post its first weekly gain in three weeks. The dollar index fell 0.02 percent to 80.271. The dollar also rose to a three-week high against the yen, edging up 0.25 percent to 102.52 yen.
The euro rose 0.14 percent to $1.3737.
Brent crude oil slipped below $110 a barrel. Oil prices fell, slightly eroding their sixth straight week of gains, as the colder-than-normal US winter that has lifted heating fuel demand gave way to milder temperatures, triggering a sell-off in heating oil.
Brent crude futures for April settled down 45 cents at $109.85 a barrel. US crude futures for April delivery fell 55 cents to settle at $102.20.
US government bond prices rose, with the 10-year note up 5/32 in price to yield 2.7337 percent.
US COMEX gold futures for April delivery settled up $6.70 an ounce at $1,323.60, with trading volume about 40 percent below its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed.
In Europe, Spanish and Italian bond yields fell back toward eight-year lows in a broad-based rally in euro zone debt as uncertainty over the bloc's growth outlook bolstered expectations of further monetary easing by the European Central Bank.
German 10-year yields were down 36 basis points at 1.658 percent. Bund futures rose 0.42 ticks to settle at 143.87 euros.