Thursday November 22nd

22-11-2018

European stocks dip as investor sentiment remains cautious; sterling up 1%; Italian banks fall

U.S. financial markets are closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving public holiday and there are no major earnings Thursday. European markets traded in negative territory on Thursday as investors remained cautious in the face of Brexit and Italy budget difficulties in Europe, and wider geopolitical tensions. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.6 percent, with all major indexes in negative territory. Stocks in China were mostly negative on Thursday as investors remained cautious. The Shanghai composite was down by 0.23 percent to close at around 2,645.43 while the Shenzhen composite ended its trading day just below flat at about 1,385.84. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was higher by 0.4 percent during the final hour of trade. Elsewhere in Asia, the picture appeared more positive overall for stocks. Japan's Nikkei 225 saw gains of 0.65 percent to close at 21,646.55 while the Topix advanced 0.81 percent to end its trading day at 1,628.96. Meanwhile, South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.32 percent to close at 2,069.95. Oil prices fell on Thursday after U.S. crude inventories swelled to their highest level since December adding to concerns about a global glut but OPEC talk of an output reduction limited losses. Benchmark Brent fell 23 cents to $63.25 a barrel by 1212 GMT, after dropping by over $1 in early European trading. U.S. WTI fell more than a $1 before easing back to trade down 39 cents at $54.24. Gold prices crept higher on Thursday towards a two-week peak scaled in the previous session, helped by an easing dollar and as investors sought refuge from weakness in financial markets on economic growth concerns. Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,227.20 an ounce at 1042 GMT, though moves were contained by the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Prices on Wednesday had peaked at $1,230.07, the highest level since Nov. 7. U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,228.20.