US stocks drift lower amid soft data

New York, April 5 (IANS) US stocks fluctuated narrowly in the morning session on Monday as the country’s factory orders came out weaker than expected.

By midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 48.25 points, or 0.27 percent, to 17,744.50, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 lost 6.07 points, or 0. 29 percent, to 2,066.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 23. 61 points, or 0.48 percent, to 4,890.94.

On Friday, US stocks reversed early losses to close higher after the better-than-expected jobs data.

For last week, all three major indices posted solid gains, with the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq surging 1.6 percent, 1.8 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively.

British FTSE 100 rises

London, April 5 (IANS) FTSE 100 Index, British benchmark stock market gauge rose by 0.30 percent, or 18.67 points, to 6,164.72 points.

Share price of Mediclinic International increased by 3.40 percent, topped the gainers of the blue chips on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Shire, Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Pearson increased by 2.89 percent, 1.69 percent, 1.67 percent and 1.59 percent respectively.

TUI led the top losers of the blue chips with a share price drop of 2.78 percent, following by Mondi (2.52 percent), Next (2.48 percent), Antofagasta (2.14 percent) and Fresnillo (1.89 percent).

Germany’s benchmark DAX index closes up

Frankfurt, April 5 (IANS) The benchmark DAX index at Frankfurt Stock Exchange rose and closed at 9,822.08 points.

Merck, a health care and life science company, topped the list of risers with an increase of 3.44 percent on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

RWE rose by 3.09 percent. Fresenius, a health care company, advanced by 2.88 percent. Fresenius Medical Care climbed by 1.86 percent. Bayer went up by 1.78 percent.

On the other hand, Continental lost 1.28 percent and Deutsche Lufthansa slipped by 1 percent. Deutsche Telekom dropped by 0.91 percent. Linde, an industrial gas company, plunged by 0.79 percent. Deutsche Bank went down by 0.74 percent.

Daimler was the most traded share of the day with a turnover of 310.67 million euros (around $353.75 million).

The euro went weak and investors are optimistic that central banks are able to prop up the recovery of the world economy, according to local analysts. The DAX index gained 27.44 points, or 0.28 percent.

US dollar mixed on soft data

New York, April 5 (IANS) The US dollar traded mixed against other major currencies as the economic data from the country came out negative.

In late New York trading on Monday, the euro rose to $1.1399 from $1.1390 of the previous session, and the British pound climbed to $1.4280 from $1.4231, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Australian dollar went down to $0.7609 from $0.7682.

The dollar bought 111.23 Japanese yen, lower than 111.61 yen of the previous session. The dollar stayed flat at 0.9587 Swiss francs, and it inched up to 1.3065 Canadian dollars from 1.3016 Canadian dollars.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was down 0.13 percent at 94.496 in late trading.

Gold down ahead of Fed minutes

Chicago, April 5 (IANS) Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell slightly as traders awaited the release of the Fed minutes.

The most active gold contract for June delivery on Monday fell $4.2, or 0.34 percent, to settle at $1,219.30 per ounce.

Analysts noted a fall in the price of the precious metal ahead of the release of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee minutes on Wednesday and analysts thought latest comments from Fed official have boosted traders’ expectations of early rate hike.

Boston Fed president Eric Rosengren said on Monday at a conference that interest rate hikes may occur sooner than the market expects given the resilience of the economy.

On Friday, the US Department of Labor showed nonfarm payrolls rising by 215,000 in March, higher than expectations. Analysts noted that although the unemployment rate increased to 5 percent, this is still a sign of a strengthening U.S. economy.

Silver for May delivery fell 10.2 cents, or 0.68 percent, to close at $14.944 per ounce. Platinum for July delivery dropped $11.7, or 1.22 percent, to close at $943.50 per ounce.

Chinese yuan weakens

Beijing, April 5 (IANS) The central parity rate of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, weakened 78 basis points to 6.4663 against the US dollar on Tuesday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System.

In China’s spot foreign exchange market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by 2 percent from the central parity rate each trading day, Xinhua news agency reported.

The central parity rate of the yuan against the US dollar is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank market each business day.

Canadian stocks lose ground

Toronto, April 5 (IANS) Canada’s main stock market in Toronto fell weak to start the week amid falling oil and metals prices and a report that US manufacturing output fell in February.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index lost 104.29 points, or 0.78 percent, to close at 13,336.15 points on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Seven of the TSX index’s eight main sub-sectors were lower.

Oil prices plunged on Monday as Saudi Arabia said it would freeze its oil output only after other producers agree to do the same. The West Texas Intermediate for May delivery moved down $1.09 to settle at $35.7 a barrel, while Brent crude for June delivery decreased 98 cents to close at $37.69 a barrel.

Leading the decline, TSX energy and mining groups were down 1.70 percent and 4.56 percent respectively. Pacific Exploration & Production Corporation lost 32.65 percent to 0.99 Canadian dollar ($0.76) a share, while Caza Oil & Gas Inc. slumped 33.33 percent to 0.01 Canadian dollar.

The commodity-sensitive Canadian dollar was also lower for a third consecutive session. The loonie traded lower at $0.7650, compared with Friday’s closing rate of $0.7684.

Chinese shares open mixed

Beijing, April 5 (IANS) Chinese stocks opened mixed on Tuesday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index down 0.29 percent, at 3,000.94 points.

The smaller Shenzhen index opened 0.13 percent higher at 10,393.65 points, Xinhua news agency reported.

The ChiNext Index, tracking China’s NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, gained 0.09 percent to open at 2,207.46 points.

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