US stocks waver on big bank earnings

New York, April 15 (IANS) The US stocks traded in a tight range in the morning session on Thursday, as investors assessed quarterly earnings from big banks amid economic data.

At midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 28.87 points, or 0.16 percent, to 17,937.15. The S&P 500 rose 2.21 points, or 0.11 percent, to 2,084.63. The Nasdaq Composite Index ticked up 0.81 points, or 0.02 percent, to 4,948.23, Xinhua news agency reported.

Bank of America reported on Thursday quarterly net income of $2.7 billion, or 21 cents per diluted share, worse than expected.

Wells Fargo posted quarterly net income of $5.5 billion, compared with $5.8 billion in first quarter 2015. Its diluted earnings per share were 99 cents, compared with $1.04 in the same period last year. Shares of Wells Fargo edged up 0.24 percent around midday trading.

On the economic front, the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers increased 0.1 percent in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, the US Labour Department said on Thursday.

The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent in March after rising 0.3 percent in February.

In a separate report, in the week ending April 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 253,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised level.

Gold down sharply after dollar strengthens

Chicago, April 15 (IANS) Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell on Thursday as the US dollar rose sharply, putting pressure on the precious metal.

The most active gold contract for June delivery fell $21.8, or 1.75 percent, to settle at $1,226.50 per ounce.

The precious metal was put under pressure as the US Dollar Index rose sharply, reaching above a 95.1 level during intraday trading but is at 94.82, representing a 0.4 percent gain by 18.25 GMT, Xinhua news agency reported.

The index is a measure of the dollar against a basket of major currencies.

Gold was put under further pressure as a report released by the US Department of Labor on Thursday showed the weekly jobless claims falling by 13,000 to a 253,000 level during the week ending on April 9. Analysts note that this report was much better than expected and is a sign of strong US employment.

Stronger US equities also put pressure on the precious metal as the US Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 28.93 points, or 0.16 percent, as of 18:30 GMT. Analysts note that when equities post losses, the precious metal usually goes up, as investors are looking for a safe haven, while the opposite is true when the US equities post gains.

The precious metal was prevented from falling further as a report released by the US Department of Commerce on Thursday showed the consumer price index rising by a worse-than-expected 0.1 percent. Analysts note that this is a sign of soft inflation data, but is not necessarily a bad sign for the US economy in the wider sense of things.

Silver for May delivery lost 15.2 cents, or 0.93 percent, to close at $16.173 per ounce. Platinum for July delivery dropped $10.1, or 1.01 percent, to close at $992.90 per ounce.

US dollar mixed on inflation report, jobless data

New York, April 15 (IANS) The US dollar traded mixed against other major currencies on Thursday amid soft inflation data and an upbeat jobless report from the country.

The Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers increased 0.1 percent in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, the US Labor Department said on Thursday. The index for all items less food and energy inched up 0.1 percent in March after rising 0.3 percent in February, lower than market consensus, reports Xinhua.

In a separate report by the department, in the week ending April 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 253,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised level.

Analysts said the strong jobless report was offset by the soft inflation data, which may keep the Federal Reserve to stay cautious in raising interest rates.

In late New York trading, the euro fell to $1.1267 from $1.1283 of the previous session, and the British pound declined to $1.4155 from $1.4214. The Australian dollar went up to $0.7702 from $0.7656.

The dollar bought 109.26 Japanese yen, lower than 109.29 yen of the previous session. The dollar decreased to 0.9667 Swiss francs from 0.9670 Swiss francs, and it inched up to 1.2844 Canadian dollars from 1.2815 Canadian dollars.

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