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US: Stocks snap losing streak as yen weighs on Nikkei

Friday, December 11, 2015 - 06:52
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[NEW YORK] US stocks snapped a three-day losing streak on Thursday, shrugging off another fall in oil prices as Japanese stocks continued to slide on worries about a rising yen.

Analysts said Wall Street was primed for a technical bounce after the Dow lost about 2.0 per cent in the prior three sessions on worries about a rout in oil and other commodities Oil prices Thursday sank to yet another multi-year low, but Dow member Chevron and ConocoPhillips both rose after announcing similar cuts to their 2016 capital budgets of about 25 per cent.

"You have a day when the market didn't correlate with energy," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities. "That caught a lot of people by surprise." The Dow retreated from a mid-session gain of 1.2 percent, but still finished up 0.5 per cent. US markets are looking ahead to Friday's retail sales report for November, seen as a key barometer of the important holiday shopping period.

Tokyo's benchmark stock index fell for a third straight session, ending down 1.3 per cent as the strengthening yen again weighed on exporters.

Christopher Vecchio, currency analyst at DailyFX, said the Bank of Japan is "disinclined" to more stimulus as announced policies course through the economy.

On Thursday, the dollar ticked up to 121.62 yen from 121.40 yen on Wednesday, when it touched its lowest level in more than a month. The greenback is still well down from levels above 123 yen earlier this week.

The FTSE 100 in London ended down 0.6 per cent after the Bank of England, as expected, left borrowing costs unchanged at a record low of 0.5 per cent.

London-listed Glencore jumped 7.7 per cent after accelerating a plan to reduce debt and slashing its 2016 capital budget to US$3.8 billion from the prior US$5 billion.

On the Paris market EDF, the world's biggest operator of nuclear power plants, rose 6.1 per cent after raising some of its earnings targets and announcing cost cuts.

In New York, Twitter shares jumped 6.6 per cent on news that it is rolling out a new feature to allow marketers to reach people who use the messaging platform without logging in.

One day after surging on news of their merger talks, Dow Chemical lost 3.6 per cent, while DuPont added 0.1 per cent. Some analysts warned a deal could face tough scrutiny from antitrust regulators.

Wal-Mart Stores rose 0.7 per cent on news it would launch its own smartphone mobile payments app, challenging similar offerings from Apple, Samsung, Google and others.

AFP

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