European stocks fell slightly and Asian markets edged higher on Friday in subdued trading after U.S. markets closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
KEEPING SCORE: Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped almost 0.1 percent to 6,826 and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.2 percent to 4,532. Germany’s DAX retreated 0.1 percent to 10,674. Futures showed that Wall Street, which is due to trade for a shortened day after Thursday’s holiday, was set for small gains. Dow futures rose 0.3 percent while S&P futures gained 0.2 percent.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “With U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving last night and a number of key stocks sitting at resistance levels, the question for traders today will be whether buyers are prepared to act independently of a lead from U.S. markets,” Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a commentary.
ASIA’S DAY: Asian markets finished higher in light trading. Japan’s Nikkei 225 finished 0.3 percent higher at 18,381.22. South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.2 percent to 1,974.46. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.5 percent to 22,723.45, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.6 percent higher at 3,261.94. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.4 percent to 5,507.80. Stocks in Taiwan, Singapore and other Southeast Asian markets also advanced.
OIL: Analysts said oil prices will be reacting to whether OPEC members reach an agreement on meaningful output cuts during their meeting next week. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 54 cents to $47.42 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract closed 7 cents lower on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 57 cents to $48.43 in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar remained at a more than eight-year high against the Chinese yuan, which was trading at 6.9145 yuan per dollar. The dollar fell against the Japanese yen, to 112.91 yen from 113.69 yen, while the euro strengthened to $1.0595 from $1.0547.