December 22, 2014
US shares rebound, euro briefly dips after Malaysian airliner crash
US stocks rebounded and European markets recovered a bit today but the euro dipped below $1.35 for first time since February after a Malaysian airliner was downed in eastern Ukraine and Israel stepped up a ground assault in Gaza.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 113.06 points, or 0.67 percent, to 17,089.87. The S&P 500 gained 18.78 points, or 0.96 percent, to 1,976.9 and the Nasdaq Composite added 62.96 points, or 1.44 percent, to 4,426.407.
European shares fell as the shooting down of a passenger plane over Ukraine stoked tensions between Russia and the West and sapped appetite for assets which depend on economic growth.
Uncertainty over how the incident will affect the conflict between the Ukrainian government and separatists led many investors to close their long positions ahead of the weekend in case the situation deteriorates.
But selling pressure was moderate and volatility low as the loss of the Malaysian airliner with 298 people aboard was also seen as intensifying international pressure to resolve the worst crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War.
Fighting between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists has killed hundreds in Ukraine since protests toppled its Moscow-backed president in February and Russia annexed the Crimea.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down by 0.4 percent at 1,357.47, taking its drop over the past two days to 1.4 percent and leaving it 0.4 percent higher on the week.
Broad-based falls saw all but one sector on the STOXX Europe 600 in negative territory, although declines were modest at between 0.1 percent and 1.1 percent.
The Euro STOXX Volatility index, which measures the price of options on euro zone blue-chips, effectively gauging investors' fears of future losses, edged 0.7 percent lower after hitting a two-month high earlier in the session.
Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei share average dropped to a one-week low and posted its biggest one-day fall in three weeks as investors turned risk averse on news about the Malaysian Airlines passenger jet crash.
The Nikkei ended 1.0 percent lower to 15,215.71, the lowest closing level since July 11. At one point, the index was down as much as 1.7 percent. For the week, the benchmark rose 0.3 percent. The broader Topix dropped 0.8 percent to 1,263.29, and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 0.7 percent to 11,505.50.